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Number of mortgage approvals continues to grow as almost 4,700 signed off last month

This represents a significant increase on the 1,879 mortgage approvals issued in May 2020, the BPFI said.

Image: Shutterstock/Brian A Jackson

THERE WAS A continued increase in the number of mortgages approved in May this year, with a year-on-year growth of more than 200% in approvals for first time buyers. 

Latest figures from the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) show that 4,683 mortgage approvals were issued in May this year.

That’s compared to 1,879 mortgages approved in May 2020. 

Brian Hayes, the chief executive of the BPFI, said the increase was aided by Covid-19 restrictions being lifted and that “lenders and customers had also adjusted much better to working within the restrictions”.

“This is clearly borne out by the figures,” he said, adding that May was “yet another very strong month” for mortgage approvals.

“Similar to the trend we saw emerge last month we have seen a doubling of activity across many mortgage categories,” Hayes said. 

The BPFI represents the banking, payments and fintech sector in Ireland.

Overall, it said mortgage approval activity increased by just under 150% in terms of volume in May this year compared to the same month last year. 

There were 48,935 mortgage approvals in the 12 months ending in May this year, amounting to a total value of €11.97 billion.

“During this period more loans were approved for home buyers/builders (FTBs and mover purchase combined) than in any twelve-month period since the data series began in 2011 at 38,882,” Hayes said.

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The number of mortgage approvals for first time buyers increased by 8% month-on-month and by 202.8% between May 2020 and 2021.

FTBs accounted for 55% of the total volume of mortgage approvals in May this year. 

Hayes added that the approval figures are “significant” and signal a “robust pipelines for drawdown activity later in the year”. 

The number of mortgages approved in April this year was nearly double the amount of approvals in the same month last year. 

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