Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, RÚV, reported yesterday on a recent survey of house mortgage expenses conducted by the Icelandic Consumer Association.
The other nine European countries were the Nordic countries, Austria, the UK, Germany, Ireland and Holland.
In all respects but cost, the terms of the mortgages were similar. Duration was 25-40 years, the mortgage ration 80-100 per cent and the credit history of the applicant was included in determining the terms of the loan.
When it came to cost, Iceland by far the most expensive country. Interest rates were up to 5 per cent higher than elsewhere; other costs, such as processing fees and early payment penalties, were also considerably more expensive.
Two economists who serve on the board of the Consumer Association named the small size of the Icelandic economy and the rapid expansion of the economy as two factors causing higher costs.
The president of the Consumer Association, Jóhannes Gunnarsson, said the Association was campaigning against the unreasonably high costs of mortgages. He cited the early payment penalty as an example.