First-time buyers lead the way as mortgage approvals up 23%

Some 43,000 mortgages were approved in 2017 with 34,798 drawndown over the year

First-time buyers led the way with the volume of approvals up 31 per cent compared to 2016.

More than 43,000 mortgages valued at a combined €9.3 billion were approved in 2017, while the number of drawdowns rose 18.1 per cent year-on-year, new figures show.

Mortgage approval volumes rose 23 per cent year-on-year, while the value of such approvals increased by 34 per cent, according to Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI).

First-time buyers led the way, with the volume of approvals up 31 per cent compared to 2016. The value of mortgages for this segment was up 46 per cent as prices rose on the back of strong demand.

During December, a total of 2,745 mortgages go the go-ahead, up 30.1 per cent versus November and by 3.8 per cent compared to the same month a year earlier. Just over half of all approvals were for first-time buyers who also accounted for 50 per cent of all drawdowns during 2017.


The combined value of mortgages approval during the final month of 2017 was €599 million, of which first-time buyers accounted for €299 million.

Re-mortgage/switching approvals rose by 31.9 per cent over the year by volume and by 27.4 per cent in value terms.

The new figures show 10,350 new mortgages valued at a combined €2,230 million were drawn down by borrowers during the fourth quarter of 2017. This brings the total number of mortgages issued last year to 34,798 with a combined value of €7.3 million.

Mortgage drawdowns volumes were up 13.5 per cent versus the fourth quarter of 2016.

The volume and the value of re-mortgage loans (switching) continue to increase: there were 985 re-mortgage loans in the fourth quarter to the value of €232 million. This marks a 15.7 per cent increase in volume and a 21.6 per cent increase in value compared to the same quarter a year earlier.

Goodbody is forecasting a further 20 per cent increase in mortgage lending this year to €8.7billion.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist