Friday 14 December 2018

Number of mortgages approved rose by 5pc year-on-year

Stock photo: PA
Stock photo: PA
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

The number of mortgages approved rose by 5pc year-on-year in February, with first-time buyers making up just over 50pc of the approvals.

Overall a total of 3,137 mortgages were approved in February 2018, down 0.3pc on January, according to figures from the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI).

Some 1,580 of the mortgage approvals were for first-time buyers (FTBs), while mover purchasers accounted for 808 or 25.8pc of the approvals.

There was a big jump in re-mortgage/switching approvals on a year-on-year basis, with re-mortgage/switching approvals increasing by 65.5pc in value and by 64pc in volume terms.

Overall the value of mortgage approvals in Ireland was €691m in February, of which first-time buyers accounted for €351m, and €211m by mover purchasers, with the value of mortgage approvals rising by 11.1pc year-on-year, and by 0.2pc month-on-month.

"The BPFI mortgage approvals data shows the solid start to the year seen in January continued into February, albeit with a slight moderation in the annual rate of increase," Owen Callan, analyst with Investec, said.

"We would look for a potentially disappointing set of figures for March when they are released next month, given the inclement weather conditions at the start of this month and the potential holiday impact from both St Patrick’s Day and Easter. However, we still look for over €10bn in new mortgage approvals in 2018, and drawdowns of around €9.1bn," Mr Callan said.

Meanwhile almost 800 new housing units were completed in February this year, representing a 38pc increase year-on-year, according to the latest Goodbody Housebuilding Tracker.

In the opening two months of 2018, housing completions grew by 46pc year-on-year to 1,608 units.

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