The latest figures from the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI) show that mortgage approvals grew in Ireland in February despite a national lockdown.
A total of 3,651 mortgages were approved in February 2021 – first-time buyers (FTBs) were approved for 1,969 mortgages (53.9% of total volume) while mover purchasers accounted for 903 (24.7%). Mortgages approved in February 2021 were valued at €902 million – of which FTBs accounted for €493 million (54.7%) and mover purchasers for €255 million (28.3%).
The number of mortgages approved rose by 8.8% month-on-month and by 3.9% compared with the same period last year. The value of mortgage approvals rose by 9.6% month-on-month and by 9.4% year-on-year.
Speaking on the publication of the data, Chief Executive at BPFI, Brian Hayes said, "Our latest approvals figures show another month of solid albeit slower growth, especially for first-time buyers who now account for over half of all approvals both in volume and value terms. This growth is taking place against a backdrop of continued level 5 restrictions throughout February which underlines lenders’ continued support for the mortgage market particularly when we consider that February 2020 was a relatively normal month preceding any COVID restrictions."
He added, "It is interesting to note that re-mortgage/switching was the fastest growing segment in February, with volumes up 15.1% year on year to more than 500. Lenders are supporting large numbers of customers who want to switch. In the past three years, lenders have approved almost 17,900 re-mortgages valued at €4.2 billion."