Thursday, February 28 15:29:05
A fall in the level of new mortgage approvals recorded for January 2013 reflects the traditional seasonal weakness evident in Q1 figures each year as well as a front-loading of activity into 2012 ahead of the ending of mortgage interest relief.
The third monthly IBF Mortgage Approvals Report shows that a total of 841 mortgages were approved by lenders here in January 2013 to the value of E134 million. The vast majority (91pc) of these was for property purchase, the balance for re-mortgages and top ups.
While the January approval volumes are lower than in the previous month and year, there was an increase of 20.3pc in the figures when comparing the three-month period, Nov 2012-Jan 2013, with the same period the previous year. (Monthly and annual changes are calculated based on changes in the three-month moving average to allow for volatility in monthly volumes.
Commenting on the data, IBF's Director of Public Affairs, Felix O'Regan, stated: "It comes as no surprise that the level of approvals for this January is down. The early part of the year is traditionally the weakest; also, a good deal of activity that would ordinarily have taken place in January instead occurred before end-2012 to take advantage of the expiration of mortgage interest relief. That said, lenders continue to experience a healthy level of borrower interest and this is likely to be reflected in approvals data over the following months."