Official mortgage market reference rates
Official interest rates are typically used to index variable or tracker rate transactions.
The official reference rates are those established in Article 27 of Ministerial Order EHA/2899/2011 (in Spanish) of 28 October 2011, amended by Ministerial Order ETD/699/2020 (in Spanish) of 24 June 2020, and are stated in rule fourteen and Annex 8 of Banco de España Circular 5/2012 (in Spanish), amended by Banco de España Circular 1/2021 (in Spanish). The official reference rates are:
- 12-month EURIBOR. This is the most widely used benchmark rate for tracker (variable rate) mortgages. The benchmark rate is the monthly arithmetic mean of the daily EURIBOR interbank rates referred to in the Annex of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1368 of 11 August 2016, establishing a list of critical benchmarks used in financial markets. The Banco de España will cease calculating the monthly mean and will instead publish and reproduce the information devised by the EURIBOR’s administrator, the European Money Markets Institute (EMMI).
- 1-week, 1-month, 3-month and 6-month EURIBOR. The benchmark rate for each tenor is the monthly arithmetic mean of the daily EURIBOR interbank rate referred to in the Annex of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1368 of 11 August 2016, establishing a list of critical benchmarks used in financial markets.
The mean is calculated by the European Money Markets Institute (EMMI).
- Internal rate of return on the secondary market for government debt. This will be calculated monthly by Sociedad de Bolsas, SA, which belongs to the Bolsas y Mercados Españoles group. Until the index calculated by Sociedad de Bolsas, SA is published, the Banco de España will continue to calculate the rate based on the returns obtained on the secondary market in transactions conducted with two- to six-year government debt.
- Five-year Interest Rate Swap rate. Calculated as the monthly simple average of the daily interest rates of the annual rate for interest swaps. This rate is used for euro-denominated transactions with five-year maturities. It is calculated by ICE Benchmark Administration (IBA) and is published on its website under the identifier EUR Rates 1200.
- Rates for mortgage loans for the purchase of unsubsidised housing with terms of more than three years granted by credit institutions in Spain. This rate is often used to reset variable rate mortgage loans. It is the simple average of the weighted average interest rates of mortgage loans – for the purchase of unsubsidised housing – with terms of three years or more granted or renewed by banks and savings banks in the month to which the reference rate refers. Equivalent annual rates are used to calculate the average.
- Euro area credit institutions’ average one- to five-year mortgage rate. This is the average, weighted by volume of transactions, of interest rates applied to new house purchase lending in euros to euro area residents with an initial rate fixation period of between one and five years.
- Euro short-term rate (€STR). This €STR-based rate will be an official interest rate once the ECB concludes the ongoing preparations and begins its publication. The ECB is finalising a €STR-based rate with several tenors. It is determined and published on a daily basis by the European Central Bank (ECB), pursuant to the methodology set out by Guideline ECB/2019/19 of 10 July 2019.
The Banco de España explains in this informative note the basic characteristics, definitions and method of calculation of the official interest rates it publishes.
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Which benchmark rates are no longer official?