Mortgage approvals 'up by 36%' in past six months

Mortgage approvals 'up by 36%' in past six months

The number of mortgages being approved has increased by 36% in the past six months, according to the latest figures from the Irish Banking Federation.

The Housing Market Monitor also shows the number of homes listed in the first quarter of this year has dropped 15%, with a significant shortage of family homes available to buy in Dublin.

Goodbody Chief Economist Dermot O'Leary says that's caused house prices to increase in the capital for the first time since 2007.

Prices in the capital are now 1.4% higher than a year ago, according to IBF data for the first quarter of 2013.

The Housing Market Monitor shows that Dublin is bucking the trend of the rest of the country, because of a shortage of family homes.

It shows there are around 3,000 homes for sale in Dublin, down by more than a half, from 7,000 properties at the height of the boom.

Goodbody Chief Economist Dermot O'Leary says the supply shortage is causing prices in Dublin to rise for the wrong reasons.

"I think we have seen the effects of the mortgage interest relief in the final quarter of last year, and I think that confidence is playing a big role," he said.

"We have seen a stabilisation in domestic demand (and) I think that's feeding through to people becoming more interested in buying property."

He said a renewed focus on lending by the main banks is partially responsible for the rise in mortgages approved.

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