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One in three people who apply for mortgages are turned down

Figures revealed for the first time show that 38 per cent of mortgage applications were rejected last year.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

MORE THAN ONE third of mortgage applications were rejected by Irish banks last year.

The figures, revealed for the first time in a letter from Finance Minister Michael Noonan, show that there were over 28,500 mortgage applications to four Irish lenders last year.

Of these, around 17,700 applications  were approved. More than 10,000 applications – 38 per cent – were rejected.

The four lenders involved – AIB, Bank of Ireland, EBS and Permanent TSB –  are among the biggest mortgage lenders in the State.

The figures were revealed in a letter to Fianna Fáil finance spokesperson Michael McGrath after he asked a parlimentary question about the issue some months ago.

McGrath pointed out the figures do not include the large number of people who do not proceed with formal mortgage applications after making informal inquiries with their bank.

Speaking on RTE Radio One’s Morning Ireland today, McGrath said the figures were worrying and highlighted the stagnating mortgage sector.

“We are witnessing a dysfunctional mortgage market,” said McGrath.

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He also said that people working in the mortgage industry have suggested that the level of mortgage refusal could be even higher than 38 per cent.

The figures show the extent of the collapse of the mortgage market in Ireland as lenders continue to tighten restrictions on approving potential homeowners.

Two of Ireland’s biggest lenders, AIB and Bank of Ireland, have repeatedly emphasised the amount of money they have lent to people seeking mortgages but have refused to give figures on exactly how many mortgage applications they have approved.

Read: Mortgage arrears in Ireland rise to highest level yet >

Read: More immigrants buying homes in Ireland than ever before >

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