Number of new mortgages down seven-fold since 2006
THE number of new mortgages drawn down last year has fallen seven-fold since the height of the property bubble in 2006.
Figures showed that the number of new mortgages obtained last year fell by 40pc with first-time buyers (FTBs) accounting for a large chunk of all new home loans, as they snapped up cheaper houses.
New figures compiled by the Irish Bankers Federation (IBF) and PricewaterhouseCoopers showed that just 28,000 people took out mortgages in Ireland in 2010 worth €4.7bn. First-time buyers borrowed 39pc of all new mortgages, taking out loans of between €185,192 and €201,516.
This compares with 46,000 new mortgages issued in 2009 and with the €40bn of new mortgages given out to more than 200,000 people at the height of the property bubble in 2006.
The figures showed that close to 6,000 new mortgages were taken out in the last three months of 2010, worth €982m.
The number of investors buying property to rent has fallen dramatically since 2006 when they accounted for about 21pc of all new mortgages. In 2010, just 4pc of the mortgages taken out were by investors.
The IBF says the banks are pointing to the need for prudent lending and are focusing on the borrower's ability to repay.