Housing market shows signs of life as mortgage approvals up by half

Credit: Extra.ie

The housing market is showing further signs of life as mortgage approvals are up by half since the depth of the COVID-19 lockdown, new figures show.

The number of mortgages approved last month rose by 50% on June to 3,397, but they were still down by a third from the 5,129 approved in July last year.

More than half of the approvals went to first-time buyers.

David Hall of the Irish Mortgage Holders’ Organisation said: ‘It’s probably a sign that the market is waking up a bit, which is good news.’

Dr Ali Ugur, chief economist of the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland, which compiled the figures, also welcomed the increase but pointed out that the figures are still lagging behind last year.

‘Approval numbers are still down, which is not unexpected. On the other hand, when we look at annualised mortgage approval activity, which is a better indicator of the trend, there were 40,090 mortgage approvals in the 12 months ending July 2020, valued at €9.2billion.’

First-time buyers made up 55% of the approvals with 1,883 mortgages.

The mortgages were worth a total of €811million at an average of €238,740.

The value of mortgage approvals rose by 51% month-on-month but fell by 30% year-on-year.

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