Switching activity drives growth in mortgage approvals

The Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) noted just over 5,500 mortgages were approved in August
Switching activity drives growth in mortgage approvals

Muireann Duffy

Mortgage approvals rose by 5.5 per cent in August, with the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) attributing the increase  to 'switching activity'.

The rate of approval was also 21.3 per cent higher than the same month last year.

The latest BPFI figures show a total of 5,544 mortgages were approved in August, 2,480 (44.7 per cent) of which were for first-timer buyers (FTBs).

The value of the approved mortgages totalled €1,517 million, up 4.4 per cent month-on-month and 30.8 per cent year-on-year.

The volume of non-purchase activity, which includes switching mortgages and top-ups, increased by 126.5 per cent compared to the same period of 2021.

"Our latest figures show continued growth in mortgage approvals in August with significant levels of activity amongst FTBs and those who are switching lender or topping up," BPFI's chief executive Brian Hayes said.

"With FTBs now accounting for almost 45 per cent of the mortgage market in volume terms, we welcome the continuation of the Help-to Buy Scheme announced in this week’s budget, given its positive effect in supporting demand for FTB homes and in encouraging builders to supply those homes."

Mr Hayes added that annual figures offer a better overall picture of the industry, showing almost 57,000 mortgages - valued at approximately €15.1 billion - were approved in the 12-month period ending in August, marking the first time approvals have exceeded €15 billion on an annualised basis since the data series began.

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