Monday 11 December 2017

Households continue to focus on repaying mortgage debt

Homeowners are continuing to save and are prioritising paying down debt
Homeowners are continuing to save and are prioritising paying down debt
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

HOMEOWNERS are continuing to save and are prioritising paying down debt.

New figures from the Central Bank show mortgage repayments exceeded draw-downs by €104m during June.

Lending to households continued to fall, decreasing by 3.9pc in June.

Merrion Stockbrokers said the credit data continues to be the most disappointing as regards the recovery.

"While there has been some improvement in recent months in terms of bank lending, progress continues to be slow," said economist Alan McQuaid.

"Advancing credit to the SME sector in particular is essential if the economy and labour market is to fully recover.

"But even lending to households leaves a lot to be desired, still down close on 4pc on an annual basis.

"The financial institutions maintain that this is a demand rather than supply issue and they are open for business.

"If that is indeed the case then one would expect an improvement in the credit figures in the coming months as the economic data in general get better, but seeing is believing."

Private-sector deposits increased by €26m during June.

Non-resident private-sector deposits increased by €1.9bn during June.

Separate data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) also showed that disposable income fell more than 4pc in the first three months of the year, compared with the end of 2013.

Gross disposable income was €22,2bn in the first quarter - a decrease of €1,12bn or 4.8pc compared with the final three months of last year.

Overall, gross household saving decreased by €982 million.

Household spending also fell over the same period, dropping by €138m.

Irish Independent

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