With the Euribor on the free rise, fixed-rate mortgages have become the clear preference for bank customers. But the lowest rates are already reserved selectively for the most solvent profiles and there are very few entities willing to compete on price in granting armored mortgages against the rise in the price of money. CaixaBank does maintain its commitment to the fixed rate, even with aggressive offers, albeit limited to clients of indisputable solvency.
The entity directed by Gonzalo Gortázar even offers a fixed rate of 1% over 25 years to customers who wish to change their variable mortgage, including customers of other entities, in a last effort to retain profiles of maximum solvency at a time when rate hikes are going to test the payment capacity of many households. In fact, the rise in the Euribor in August aims to leave the largest increase since 2000 in the monthly average at which these credits are revised.
The 1% fixed rate was offered more widely in 2021, the time when the sector competed more aggressively in this type of mortgage, prior to the ECB interest rate hikes that are accelerating in 2022. The 1% fixed rate has disappeared from bank windows, where the fixed mortgage is beginning to be withdrawn. But CaixaBank still manages to offer it in a very selective way, almost in extinction. In exchange, it is necessary to take out life insurance, other home insurance, a security alarm from Securitas Direct and direct debit receipts.
Sources from the entity explain that the final conditions of the mortgage are negotiated in a personalized way with each client. In the information available on its website, the interest offered for new fixed-rate mortgages is much higher than that 1%: a nominal rate of 2.955% over 30 years that can be as low as 1.95% (3.364% APR) with the maximum bonus, which includes contracting the aforementioned products.
CaixaBank’s commitment to the fixed rate has been going on for a long time, more than six years ago, sources from the entity explain. A year ago, two thirds of the mortgages that were signed with the bank were already at a fixed rate and that percentage has risen to 90% in the last year. CaixaBank is the leader in the Spanish mortgage market with a share of 26% at the end of 2021, and its commercial strategy inevitably marks the step to the rest of the sector, although numerous entities have already begun to drop the fixed rate due to the advance of the euribor.
In a scenario of rising rates, the variable rate mortgage is now the most profitable option for banks to obtain business margin, in the same way that years ago, in a zero rate environment, the fixed rate mortgage was. “The sector is facing the last train of fixed rates, customers who are fairer are not even offered them,” they explain in iAhorro.
BBVA sources point out that they continue to market fixed and variable rate mortgages, depending on the customer’s preference. And in Santander they explain that although in the new production the fixed rate has dominated this year, with around 80%, “in recent weeks, requests for variable mortgages have increased compared to previous months.”
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