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Mortgage activity 'returning to 2008 levels' as draw-down figures at highest level in 10 years

New figures show there were 10,157 mortgages drawn down in the second quarter of the year.

Image: Shutterstock/Fabio Balbi

THE NUMBER OF mortgages drawn down in Ireland during the first half of the year was the highest number over the same period since 2009.

Draw-down figures from the Banking Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI) showed that 10,157 new mortgages valued at €2.25 billion were drawn down by borrowers during the second quarter of 2019.

It follows the drawing down of 8,577 mortgages worth €1.9 billion during the first three months of the year, making the total number of mortgages drawn down in 2019 the highest number this decade.

The last time that the number of drawdowns was at this level was 2009, when 23,863 mortgages were taken out, with the number of new homes coming on the market and increasing levels of employment a factor in the recent increase.

The latest figures are a rise of 8.8% in volume and 11.7% in value on corresponding figures for the second quarter of 2018.

They also show a strong increase in volume (18.4%) and value (19.4%) on the first quarter of this year.

First-time buyers remain the single largest segment by volume (49.6%) and by value (50.5%), while those re-mortgaging their loans also showed a year-on-year increase of 11.0% in volume and 12.8% in value.

image001 Source: BPFI

The BPFI has also revealed the latest figures from its Mortgage Approvals Report for June 2019, which show that 4,478 mortgages were approved last month, a 4.8% increase on June 2018 but a 9.1% decrease on the figure for May.

Mortgages approved last month were valued at €1 billion, of which first-time buyers accounted for €550 million (53.3%), a value which rose by 7.3% year-on-year but fell by 9.2% month-on-month.

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BPFI’s director public affairs, Felix O’Regan said that the latest figures showed good growth on corresponding activity in 2018, which he said was not a surprise.

“The growth in mortgage switching over the last 12 months supports our assessment showing activity in this area returning to a level last seen in 2008,” he said.

“Mortgage approvals in the year to June show good growth at 4.8%, while activity is down on the preceding month of May – which could be down to seasonality.”

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