Eurozone mortgage base rates hit a record low in September as they stayed negative for the eighth consecutive month.
12-month Euribor – the rate used to calculate most mortgage repayments in Spain – came in at -0.057 in September, down from -0.048 in August, meaning the eighth consecutive month of negative Euribor interest rates.
Compared to September last year, when Euribor was 0.154, the benchmark interest rate for Eurozone mortgages was down by 137%.
As a result, borrowers in Spain with an annually resetting Spanish mortgage will see their mortgage payments fall by around €11 per month for a typical €120,000 loan with a 20 year term.
Other than a small decline in monthly mortgage payments for existing borrowers, and some of the best rates in history for new borrowers who make the grade as far as lenders are concerned, I don’t know what negative interest rates mean. All I can say is it doesn’t look good, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we are just storing up trouble.
The only other thing I know for sure about negative interest rates is that savers are getting punished. It’s almost pointless putting your money in a savings account today considering the risible returns you get. Which helps explain why so many people in Spain who have capital are investing in property. Prices look attractive, rental yields are much better than you get in the bank, and capital gains in places like Barcelona and Madrid are rising towards double digits per annum.