Banks have found in the mortgage business the main way to attract clients throughout the pandemic. The behavior of this segment of activity has surprised the sector and the entities are registering historical maximums of operations in recent months , a situation that has led to a practically total price war and that has led these loans to become again, on average, cheaper than in the euro zone. This circumstance had not been seen since mid-2018, when, in a timely manner, in the month of September, they were marketed at lower prices.
In June, the interest rate applied to loans for house purchase in our country stood at 1.59% APR -includes all types of commissions and related products-, compared to 1.60% in community markets.
The continuous reduction of rates demanded by the different entities, especially mortgages at fixed rates, has gradually limited the existing gap with the Old Continent. In June 2020, for example, in Spain this financing was granted at 1.92%, that is, 33 basis points more, than at present. So, in Europe, the cost was well below, at 1.68%.
Already in January 2021, after the first reductions carried out by the entities in the era of the pandemic, the difference had narrowed, since in the national territory the APR applied had fallen to 1.74% and in the countries community members were at 1.6%.
In April of this year, six banks fueled the war and rates have since experienced a further decline. From Santander to Liberbank , through ING , entities do not want to miss the opportunity that the new mortgage boom is offering them and are struggling to attract users (who are also linked) and income at a time when consumer financing continues to suffer falls despite its slight recovery, and loans to companies are anesthetized after the flood of lines guaranteed by the State through the ICO to help SMEs and the self-employed.
This strategy, for the moment, is paying off, since the sector has sealed the best mortgage semester since 2010, with a production of operations amounting to 29,916 million, 35% more than in the same period of 2019 and 60% higher than 2020 . Both years, yes, were negatively influenced by different issues. The entry into force of the new law that regulates this type of financing affected demand in the first case, while the pandemic and mobility restrictions, in the second.
Battle on all fronts
In the shop windows, both physical and virtual, you can see promotions of these credits for all tastes and preferences: variable, fixed, mixed, green and also subrogation mortgages. For the best clients, that is, with higher salaries and with the maximum bonus for products, citizens can already get mortgages at fixed prices with an interest well below 2%.
This relentless struggle has led to loans with the same cost of life, which already represent half of what was granted, cost practically the same as variable ones , with rates ranging between 1.4 and 1.45% .
Another phenomenon that has been unleashed during the coronavirus is the ‘theft’ of credits granted in the past through surrogacy. The number of mortgages that has changed entity has tripled and experts point out that this is only the beginning of a trend that will become widespread in our country, as has been customary in other European markets for a long time.