Level of mortgage approvals on rise

Last month saw a 7.3% annualised increase in the level of mortgages being approved by the country’s mainstream lenders.

The updated figures — published by the Irish Banking Federation — also show an 8.8% year-on-year rise in the level of approvals to those using the mortgage for house purchase.

As much as 92% of new approvals are now accounted for by house purchases.

In all, some 1,652 mortgages were approved by lenders during June, amounting to a combined value of €280m.

The Irish Banking Federation welcomed what it called the sustained growth in both the volume and value of mortgage approvals, “particularly in the all-important category of house purchases”.

“This growth — combined with reports from lenders of good levels of applications — signals a healthy pipeline of mortgage activity, which is expected to be reflected in future draw-down figures,” it added.

In the year to date, mortgage approvals for house purchase are up by 3.8% — year-on-year — with the total amounting to 7,226.

Meanwhile, the number of remortgage/top-upapprovals continues to fall, on an annualised basis.

The average mortgage approval value, however, amounted to €169,274, last month — down by 0.7% on the same month last year.

Despite the Irish Banking Federation’s positive outlook for the mortgage market, the Central Bank reportedly still thinks the main lenders are moving too slowly to deal with arrears levels.

According to one weekend report, the Central Bank is concerned that lenders are still relying too heavily on temporary, rather than sustainable, solutions and is issuing tougher new guidelines to the main banks on how to deal with customers in trouble with their mortgage repayments.


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