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Interest rates here almost twice EU average.

The average interest rate on new mortgages here remains almost twice what it is in the Eurozone. The rate stood at 3.38pc in November. Although this has fallen over the past 12 months, it is much higher than the euro area rate of 1.72pc, according to data from the Central Bank.

New variable rate mortgages, which had an average interest rate of 3.38pc, accounted for two-thirds of all new agreements in Ireland over the past year. A bill to allow the Central Bank to force rates lower continues to be examined in an Oireachtas Committee