Expert: Banks refusing at least 50% of mortgage applications

A leading mortgage expert has said that "at least half" of mortgage applications are being refused by banks and has appealed to the financial institutions to use "some leniency" when considering applicants.

Following the publication of the IBF/PWC mortgage market review this week the Trusted Advisor Group said that while the review gave a clear picture of activity it failed to highlight the major problems that would-be homeowners are facing in the mortgage market at the moment.

Kevin McNerney, broker member of the group said: "In the last six to eight weeks there has been a steady increase in the level of activity in the market. The numbers of people turning up at show-houses and contacting estate agents again is increasing but more importantly the number of genuinely interested people has definitely excalated.

"One area which the report does not take into consideration, but which would make for interesting reading, is the number of applications submitted to the banks compared to the number of applications that are declined – my estimate would be that it is at least half.

"I think that were this information to be made available we might then see another important reason why there has been such a drop in the numbers of mortgages being issued.

Mr McNerney said he is seeing an increase in the number, and quality, of applications being received but this is not translating into an increase in the number of mortgage approvals.

The mortgage expert contends that over recent weeks, the quality of the mortgage applications that have been coming in are much improved where the applicants display good savings records, good secure employment and good bank account management, which are the three key areas that banks are focusing on at present.

Mr McNerney said: "The majority of people I speak to at present would be looking to buy in the Greater Dublin area and most would be of the opinion that the prices have pretty much gone as low as they will go, or at least are certainly at a level now that makes it much more feasible for these people to buy rather than continue renting.

"Unfortunately though, the banks are still being very tight in certain areas where I feel they could use some leniency. I am not saying go back to the lending practices of three years ago but a bit of common sense would not go astray at times."

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