Monday 20 January 2020

Mortgage lending fell 50pc in fourth quarter

Colm Heatley

Irish mortgage lending fell by half in the fourth quarter as rising unemployment and falling house prices curbed property demand.

The amount of new loans to homebuyers was €1.76bn compared with €3.54bn a year earlier, the Irish Banking Federation said today in a report.

Some 9,946 mortgages were issued in the quarter, a 47pc drop from the year-earlier period. From the previous quarter, the volume of loans fell 18pc.

House prices have fallen in every month since March 2007 and are now around 40pc below their peak in the early part of that year, according to the Irish Homebuilders Association.

Moody’s Investors Service said last month it expects home prices to continue to decline this year.

“The data illustrates how difficult a period 2009 was,” IBF Chief Executive Officer Pat Farrell said in the report.

“There have also been some reassuring signs of late,” he said, including a “moderation over recent quarters in the overall rate of decline in market activity.”


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