Instead of new loans, borrowers paying back debt
CONSUMERS are continuing to pay down their debts rather than take out new loans or mortgages, new figures show.
There was a decline of €19m in the amount of money owed on all mortgages in December as older mortgages came to an end, but there were fewer new ones to replace them, according to Central Bank statistics.
The total outstanding on residential mortgages was €147.7bn in December, but this was down by 0.3pc when compared with the same month in 2008. At the peak of the housing boom mortgage lending was growing by 30pc a year.
Holders of personal credit cards paid off €876m on the cards in December to pull the overall amount owned by consumers down to €2.97bn. Christmas spending meant the amount of payments put on the cards was €929m, up €119m from the amount spent in November.
But the downturn meant that consumers spent less on their credit cards this December than in the previous Christmas. Almost every month in 2009 the amount paid off on credit card debt was greater than the amount of money spent on the cards.