Households borrow 3.4% less from Irish-based banks than a year earlier

Unsecured personal lending plummets 10.6% to €17bn in year to December

According to new statistics from the Central Bank, total credit to Irish households fell by 0.8 per cent on a quarterly basis, or by 3.4 per cent in the year to December 2012, down to ¤101.9 billion.  Photograph: Alan Betson

According to new statistics from the Central Bank, total credit to Irish households fell by 0.8 per cent on a quarterly basis, or by 3.4 per cent in the year to December 2012, down to ¤101.9 billion. Photograph: Alan Betson

Tue, Mar 26, 2013, 21:21

Private sector lending fell once more in December, as Irish households borrowed 3.4 per cent less from Irish-based credit institutions than they did a year previously.

However, the rate of decline in mortgage lending has slowed.

According to new statistics from the Central Bank, total credit to Irish households fell by 0.8 per cent on a quarterly basis, or by 3.4 per cent in the year to December 2012, down to €101.9 billion.

Mortgage lending fell again for the 12th consecutive month, down by 1.6 per cent on an annual basis, or by 0.2 per cent in the quarter, to €85 billion.

However, the Central Bank noted the rate of decline has slowed over the last four quarters.

Despite rising variable mortgage rates, the proportion of such mortgages remained unchanged in the fourth quarter, at 39 per cent.

Tracker mortgages accounted for the vast majority of home loans, at 50 per cent, with just 9 per cent of Irish mortgages on a fixed rate.

With regards to buy-to-let mortgages, which account for 23 per cent of home loans, 63 per cent were on tracker rates, with a further 37 per cent on standard rates.

Unsecured personal lending continues to fall at a significant rate, falling by 10.6 per cent in the year to December to €17 billion, and now accounts for 17 per cent of total household credit.

Deposits remained volatile, posting an increase of 1 per cent in the year to the end of December, up to €87 billion, but falling by 0.2 per cent, or €179 million, in the final quarter of 2012.