Male, between 30 and 40 years old, and with financing to buy his house of about 170,000 euros with a fixed interest rate. This is the profile of the average user who subscribes to a mortgage online through iAhorro, according to a study by this banking comparator. The same report shows that the number of women who contract their mortgage online is notably lower than that of men and for a somewhat lower amount, but they do so at a younger age.
“Despite the difficulties they sometimes face in buying a home, since their salary conditions are generally worse than those of men, women obtain their mortgage at an earlier age than men,” he points out. the director of Mortgages of iAhorro, Simone Colombelli. In this way, while the largest number of contracts by women is comprised in the age range between 31 and 35 years, in the case of men the greatest concentration is found in the range between 36 and 40 years.
Despite this, the proportion of women who took out a mortgage as the main holder of the loan was only 26%. This difference with them is also reflected in the number of requests. If the demands for a mortgage loan by them represented 73.5%, only 26.5% came from women.
Colombelli attributes this to the fact that the average financing obtained by men, 170,603 euros, is slightly higher than that of women, which reaches around 167,000 euros. “It is possible that by needing a larger amount, men require more time to obtain the savings prior to contracting their mortgage,” he explains.
Labor and digital divide
The bank comparator study also reflects the great difficulty of access to housing for the youngest. If the youth unemployment rate registered in Spain at the end of 2020, 40.1%, more than doubles the average of the rest of the countries of the European Union, this slab cannot but also be transferred to the mortgage market. In this way, those under 30 years of age barely account for 11% of the holders of the mortgage loans that were signed in iAhorro last year.
Something similar happens, but for completely different reasons, with the population over 50 years of age. Mortgages signed by people belonging to this age group fall considerably to represent only 5.8%. “Bearing in mind that the percentage of requests is even lower, 2%, it is normal that this is not a representative group,” Colombelli underlines. “There are people aged 60 or over who, on the one hand, cease to be attractive clients for banks due to their age, and on the other hand, they are not digital natives and are less familiar with online procedures. They are more likely to go to their bank of all life to ask for a mortgage, instead of considering the option of doing it through a mortgage comparator, ”he adds.
In any case, in terms of socioeconomic status, “the person who takes out their mortgage through an online channel usually has an urban profile, a medium-high educational level and is quite informed,” says Colombelli.
Fixed interest rate
Likewise, the recent evolution of the reference index for variable mortgages —the Euribor chained six historical lows between August last year and January— have rekindled the flame for the fixed interest rate, to which 73.5% of those who signed a mortgage in 2020 through iAhorro. Something that for Colombelli has been closely linked to the offer by the entities. “The strategy of the banks will continue to be to bet on the fixed rate, which for some time has become their best ally to try to weather the situation of instability that the mortgage market is experiencing and attract customers for longer,” he says. .
When comparing the latest available data, the average nominal interest rate of the fixed mortgages signed in iAhorro in March was 1.23%, and that of the variables, 0.75% plus Euribor (being negative, the index subtracts instead of adding). Faced with the uncertainty represented by the variable interest rate —currently its average is at very low levels, but the long-term evolution is unknown— “many buyers prefer to ensure a fixed interest rate for life, since this is also at unusually low rates”, stand out from the comparator.
What is certain is that in January 27,518 mortgages on housing were established in Spain, which represents a slight advance compared to the previous month, but a year-on-year decline of 31.6%, the most intense experienced by the mortgage market in seven years , according to the latest data from the INE. The capital granted by the banks through these loans was close to 3,550 million euros, that is, 22.4% less than the same month last year.