Mortgage in Europe: interest rates in different countries
According to real estate statistics, every second Russian who plans to purchase foreign real estate gives preference to European countries. In this article we will provide comparative data on mortgage interest rates in Europe in 2019 and talk about the specifics of the process.
According to experts, the easiest places for Russians to get a loan are in the UK, Germany, Spain and France. A mortgage loan in the European Union is a productive option for investment: relatively low rates and favorable lending conditions are not a complete list of factors that inspire Russians to purchase real estate in various EU countries.
Important: The interest rate in European countries is usually linked to the Euribor, the European interbank lending rate.
Who can take out a mortgage in Europe and in what currency?
The average term for which a mortgage loan is issued in Europe is 20 years. To be approved for a mortgage loan, a potential buyer must first confirm his or her solvency.
Persons aged 20 to 65 years who have:
- an open account in a local bank;
- creditworthiness and permanent employment;
- a complete set of supporting documentation.
Often, not only citizens of a particular country, but also foreigners can get a loan: for example, purchasing real estate in Germany with a mortgage among non-residents is very common – despite the increase in the interest rate to 2-2.5%, these conditions are beneficial for foreigners primarily due to a fixed rate that does not depend on time.
The currency depends on the period of time for which the loan is taken. For example, if you take out a mortgage loan in Europe for up to three years, it is more profitable to choose euros. It is impossible to take out a mortgage from a European bank in rubles, so a mortgage is always associated with a certain currency risk – if you receive income in rubles, the rate may go up or down.
Mortgage rates in Europe in 2019
First of all, the size of the mortgage rate in Europe in a particular country depends on the size of the refinancing rate – the bank takes a loan from the central bank at its interest rate, and issues a loan to the client at the same percentage, added to the interest of a particular bank. The purchased property is most often used as collateral for a mortgage. The bank’s income depends on the annual profit multiplied by the number of years for which the loan is issued.
Important: As experts note, banks in European countries are more favorable towards Russians who have worked for a local company for three years – this is especially true for positions in the field of science, education and healthcare.
Mortgage rates in Europe in different countries
Below is a comparative table of the average property price per square meter and average mortgage interest rates in different European countries.
|Average price per m²
(annually, for 20 years), %
Features of a mortgage loan in European countries
Every year, mortgage loans in European countries are becoming more and more popular among Russians. When planning to take out a loan in a particular country, we recommend paying attention to the specifics of each of them.
Mortgage lending in Finland
Loan repayments can be made every quarter or every month. Mortgage lending is provided by state-owned (for example, Bank of Finland), commercial (for example, Aktia Savings Bank), foreign (for example, Carnegie Investment Bank) and cooperative banks (for example, Pulkkilan Osuuspankki). It simplifies the process of acquiring a mortgage in this country and reduces the interest rate of owning a residence permit in Finland.
Mortgage lending in Iceland
Local conditions are favorable to borrowers, but mortgages are available only to citizens of the country. Loans are issued for a fairly long period – up to 40 years.
Mortgage lending in Switzerland
In Switzerland, loans with both lifetime (up to 100 years) and repayment terms of up to 15 years are popular. If the buyer fails to repay the loan during his lifetime, further payments will have to be made by the heir. Both local residents and foreigners can obtain the right to own real estate in Switzerland under the Lex Koller law.
Important: One of the ways to obtain a favorable credit history in Switzerland is a positive reference from banks after paying off several small loans and repaying small loans on time.
Mortgage lending in Sweden
The maximum loan amount is 85% of the value of the purchased property. To speed up and simplify obtaining a loan in Sweden, it is necessary to provide other property as collateral.
Mortgage lending in Italy
Most local banks issue loans only to residence permit holders. To get a loan, you not only need to open an account at a local bank, but also actively use it. The potential buyer also needs to own real estate in Italy.
Mortgage lending in Monaco
A European country with low mortgage interest rates and high real estate prices. The minimum loan amount is at least €500,000, and both fixed and variable rates are used for mortgage transactions.
Mortgage lending in Slovakia
A mortgage is provided for an apartment, house or land plot for construction and is available to both residents and non-residents of the country. Loans are issued to citizens aged 21 to 65 years, the loan term ranges from 1 to 30 years. Slovakia is distinguished by the possibility of obtaining a mortgage without providing information about income, but in this case the size of the down payment will be higher than average.
Important: If you have a residence permit in Slovakia, you can get any type of loan.
Mortgage lending in Czech Republic
In the Czech Republic, mortgages are available to both individuals and legal entities. Loans are issued for finished housing or objects under construction. Funds are provided by both state banks (Hypotecni banka, GE Money, Fio Banka, UniCredit Bank, Raiffeisen Bank, etc.) and local branches of Sberbank. The mortgage tax required in most European countries is not paid in the Czech Republic. The interest rate here may vary depending on the availability of a residence permit and permanent residence. Czech banks can take into account the officially confirmed income of all family members received in any other country.
Mortgage lending in Latvia
To obtain a mortgage in Latvia, a non-resident of the country must have the support of a resident guarantor. Obtaining a local mortgage gives you the right to apply for a residence permit.
Mortgage lending in Montenegro
Any able-bodied citizen who has confirmed a stable source of income can take out a mortgage here. The minimum mortgage amount is €10,000, the maximum is €500,000.
Mortgage lending in Spain
Local banks are loyal to foreign borrowers. Mortgages can have a fixed or floating rate and are available to persons over the age of 18. Loans are issued for any type of real estate in Spain, payments can be made over 30 years. The Spanish banking system is quite bureaucratic, so banks are required to request information about the borrower’s income and sources of funds.
Mortgage lending in Germany
Mortgages are available for the purchase of a home or commercial real estate in Germany; the fundamental factor for obtaining a loan is the size of the investment intended to be made in the property.
To obtain a mortgage in Germany you must:
- personal presence in the country;
- availability of capital for the down payment (minimum 40% of the cost of the property);
- availability of civil and foreign passports;
- open an account in one of the German banks.
Often, German banks require opening a deposit account and transferring a certain amount to it – this is the only way the bank can verify the buyer’s solvency. Applying for a mortgage in Germany takes about five weeks; the interest rate may vary depending on the type of property and the amount of the down payment. Russians can apply for a mortgage in one of the German branches of Sberbank, and then pay the debt directly on the official website from anywhere in the world.
The governments of most European countries are interested in investing in the real estate market, so the mortgage market in European countries offers fairly flexible conditions to foreign buyers. Loans in the EU are most often issued for 20 years, and in case of early repayment, the property owner is not burdened with any additional payments.