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First-time buyers push up mortgage approvals

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First-time buyers have pushed up the overall number approved for a mortgage. Stock Image

First-time buyers have pushed up the overall number approved for a mortgage. Stock Image

First-time buyers have pushed up the overall number approved for a mortgage. Stock Image

A rise in the volume of first-time buyers has pushed up the overall number approved for a mortgage.

New figures show that almost 4,200 mortgages to the value of €960m were approved in November.

The Banking and Payments Federation said the strongest growth was evident with first-time buyers, where the number of mortgages was up 8.6pc on the year.

The number of mortgages across the entire market was up 2pc on the year. But the total was down 7.4pc in the month of November. This was put down to seasonal factors.

First-time buyers accounted for half of the mortgages approved by banks and other lenders in the second to last month of 2019.

A quarter were mortgages approved for mover purchasers.

The value of mortgage approvals fell by 5.8pc month-on-month, but rose by 7.2pc year-on-year.

Remortgage and switching activity fell by 3.1pc in volume on the previous month, and by 11.6pc year-on-year.

CEO of the Banking and Payments Federation Brian Hayes said: "While mortgage approvals for November were down on the previous month, this was expected due to the seasonal effect that we typically see in the latter stages of the year.

"Looking at the recent underlying trends, approvals grew both in volume and value terms year-on-year, with the first-time buyer segment showing consistent growth, and this continues to be a key driver of the market."

In the year to November, there were 48,968 mortgage approvals, valued at €11bn.

The number of mortgage approvals increased marginally in the year.

It comes as the latest figures show house price inflation has flat-lined across Ireland, with annual asking price inflation now at less than 1pc.

The ratio between asking prices and average income has declined for the first time since 2012.

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The MyHome.ie report, published in association with Davy, found annual asking price inflation has now slowed to 0.72pc nationwide.

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