The latest mortgage market statistics published this morning from the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI) shows that first-time buyers led the rebound in the mortgage market in the second half of 2020 and contributed to a much better performance than expected.
While the current lockdown may delay completions somewhat, the surge in mortgage approvals in the fourth quarter points to significant pent-up demand.
Mortgage approvals for house purchase continued to recover strongly in December, with volumes growing by 36% year on year (yoy). With the average loan size growing, this led to a 42% yoy increase in the value of approvals.
First-time buyers continue to lead the recovery, with the number of approvals up by 40% yoy in December. Mortgage approvals for mover-purchasers also grew strongly (+31% yoy). Outside of mortgages for house purchase, there was also strong growth in remortgaging approvals in December (+46% yoy).
Having been down by 58% yoy in the second quarter, mortgage approvals for house purchase staged a remarkable rebound in the second half of the year. The 27% yoy increase in the fourth quarter is the largest since 2017 and points to further pent-up demand for house purchase. Like in other geographies,
Goodbody Stockbrokers say the pandemic has acted as a trigger for action to get on the housing ladder among those whose income situation has been relatively unaffected.