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New 2, 3 and 4 bedroom houses being built in Saggart in an estate called Cuil Duin Citywest. sam boal/

Mortgage approval rates have shot up by nearly 30% in a year

New figures show a 28% increase in mortgage approvals since last year.

THE APPROVAL RATE for mortgages was up by almost 30% in the year to December, newly released figures show.

Figures from the Banking Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI) show that mortgage approvals to buy homes in Ireland for the month of December were at 2,255.

This marks a 28% increase on last year.

In monetary terms, mortgage approvals reached €488m last month, an increase of 39% on last year.

An analysis of the figures by Davy Stockbrokers also found that the average approval for first-time buyers to €201,928, up 14% on the year.

This is due to a relaxing of the Central Bank’s mortgage lending rules in November, which meant that borrowers could take out a higher debt.

A mortgage approval is when a firm offer of credit is made by a bank to a customer.

Despite the significant rise in the number and value of mortgage approvals throughout 2016, Davy said that it was not changing its forecast for how much the value of approved mortgages will grow in 2017.

The firm forecast a 20% increase in mortgage lending (from €5 billion last year to €6 billion this year).

Lack of supply in Ireland’s property market is one of the key reasons for this.

Read: Credit unions want to shake up the mortgage market and they’ve €400m to lend

Read: ‘Out of the blue, we got a letter to say our loans had been sold to a vulture fund’

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