Fixed rate mortgages accounted for three quarters of all new mortgages agreed in the three months to July, according to the Central Bank.

The average interest rate on new fixed rate mortgages in July stood at 2.67% – a new series low.

However, the average variable rate on mortgages increased by 24 basis points in the month to 3.44%.

That resulted in a slight increase in the average interest rate on mortgages agreed in July.

It stood at 2.82%, up three basis points from June.

The average interest rate for mortgages agreed across the the euro zone in July stood at 1.35%.

The rate varied considerably across countries with Ireland coming in third highest across the euro zone.

Brokers Ireland, a representative body for mortgage brokers across Ireland, said mortgage holders were being 'fleeced' by providers here.

It pointed out that the current differential between rates here and the euro zone average costs Irish consumers €80,000 more on a €300,000 mortgage over 30 years.

"We've been told by lenders that Ireland is different for a host of reasons, including having to hold bigger capital reserves, and this is the rationale as to why Irish lenders could not match the type of euro area rates that are more the norm," Diarmuid Kelly, Chief Executive of Brokers Ireland said.

"However, that is about to be tested with the entry of competition from Avant Money already showing pressure for movement," he added.

Avant Money – a subsidiary of Avantcard – has indicated that it plans to offer fixed rates under 2% to new customers here when it launches in the coming weeks.

The products will be offered through the broker network.