The Leuven University real estate economist Frank Vastmans told VRT radio news that “It is mainly people that took out a mortgage with a variable interest rate (revised annually) between 2002 and 2006".
"That was at a time when the variable interest rate was somewhat higher. It was reasonably close to the reference index, the rate at which the banks themselves lend money. If the reference index falls from 3% to 0%, the variable interest rate falls with it”, Mr Vastmans added.
How many people are now not paying any interest on their mortgages is difficult to say. The KBC bank says that there are a few dozen among its customers. Meanwhile, BNP Paribas Fortis also confirms that a limited number of its customers are currently enjoying an interest-free mortgage.
Not all lenders with variable rate mortgages are enjoying zero interest rates. This is because many of them have re-mortgaged in order to for example finance home improvement projects. Those now taking out a variable rate mortgage also don’t enjoy zero interest loans.