Central Bank survey says mortgage lending easing
Consumers found it easier to get mortgages in the final quarter of 2012, according to a lending survey from the Central Bank which also indicated demand for mortgage loans increased for a third consecutive quarter.
The bank’s quarterly euro-area bank lending survey examines credit market conditions for households and businesses.
It said the increase in mortgage demand coincided with more favourable housing market prospects and increased levels of consumer confidence in the domestic economy.
The survey indicated consumers seeking loans for purposes other than house purchases also found it easier to access credit. However, demand for loans in this category remained unchanged for the fourth successive quarter.
The Central Bank said credit standards were expected to ease and loan demand expected to increase in both categories of household lending in the first quarter of 2013.
In contrast, the survey found the credit environment for businesses remained difficult, with demand for loans unchanged on the previous quarter.
The Central Bank said the “stabilisation” in loan demand came after a decrease during the second quarter of 2012 that was then reversed in the third quarter.
Both credit standards and demand were forecast to remain unchanged in respect of loans to enterprises in the first quarter of 2013.