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The Banks

More new mortgages approved in June but drawdowns slid in the second quarter, says bank lobby

But banks approved half the number of new mortgages last month than in June 2019.

IRISH BANKS APPROVED nearly 50% fewer mortgages last month than in June 2019, according to new figures released today by the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI).

Meanwhile, mortgage drawdowns between April and the end of June declined from the first quarter of the year.

Although new mortgage approvals increased by over 20% in June from May, the banking lobby group says that just 2,263 were signed off on by banks last month, a year-on-year decline of 49.5%.

First-time buyers accounted for 1,059 of the approvals last month, close to 47%, according to the BPFI Mortgage Approvals Report for June 2020.

The value of newly approved mortgages rose by 21.3% last month from May but fell by 48% year-on-year to €536 million.

Commenting on the report, BPFI chief executive Brian Hayes said, “Looking at the approvals figures for June, while the year-on-year figure was well down, almost 50% on this time last year, activity in June did see a 20% increase on May.

“The increase indicates a level of resilience and robustness in the market which has been bolstered by the removal of some Covid-19 restrictions since mid-May. However, any indications of a recovery need to be treated with caution as it is early days in the economic journey.”

This morning, the BPFI has also published its report on mortgage drawdowns in the second quarter of the year.

Both the volume and value of mortgages drawn down by borrowers declined from the first quarter of the year by between 24% and 27% and by 35% from the same quarter last year.

Borrowers, 49.8% of whom were first-time buyers, drew down 6,622 mortgages between April and the end of June with a total value of nearly €1.5 billion.

“This latest set of figures shows that mortgage drawdowns have held up relatively well in the second quarter of this year despite the overall downward trend and scale of disruption to the economy,” Hayes said.

“In the current volatile environment, we do not expect the market to follow the normal seasonal patterns so the rest of the year will be difficult to predict. However, it is likely we may see a bigger Covid-19 impact in our next set of quarterly drawdown figures due to the time lag between mortgage applications, approvals and drawdowns.”

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