Wednesday 18 July 2018

Almost 500 first-time buyers get mortgage approval every week

Close to 2,000 first-time buyers got the go-head from their bank to take out a mortgage in October (stock photo)
Close to 2,000 first-time buyers got the go-head from their bank to take out a mortgage in October (stock photo)

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

Almost 500 first-time buyers are getting approval every week to take out a mortgage.

And the overall number of property buyers being approved for a mortgage has shot up in the first 10 months of the year.

Close to 2,000 first-time buyers got the go-head from their bank to take out a mortgage in October.

This works out at almost 500 new borrowers a month entering the market equipped with mortgage financing.

Figures from the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland show that a total of 3,751 mortgages were approved last month.

This is 20pc higher than the same month last year.

In the 10 months of the year so far some 36,400 potential buyers have been given the go-head to borrow, a rise of 27pc on the same period last year.

The average approval amount is up 10pc on last year to €215,000.

Not all of those being approved for a mortgage end up buying, as many get out bid in a market chronically short of housing.

But figures from specialist bank Investec show the numbers being approved for a mortgage are close to the eventual number who end up drawing down a home loan.

The new figures come as the Central Bank is expected to leave mortgage lending rules largely unchanged when it publishes the results of a review today.

Governor Philip Lane made big changes that eased the limits for first-time buyers last year, but some commentators said this was one of the main reasons property prices are racing ahead this year.

The rules limit borrowers to taking out a mortgage which is no more than 3.5 times their income.

Frist-time buyers can get approval with a deposit that is 10pc of the property’s value, but second-time buyers need a 20pc deposit.

The rules were introduced in February 2015

Economist with Goodbody Stockbrokers Dermot O’Leary said he would be “ very surprised” if further changes were made.

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