Household credit falls in first quarter


Credit to Irish households fell in the first quarter of the year, while deposits rose, new data from the Central Bank has shown.

Deposits at Irish banks were €86.9 billion by the end of the quarter, up 1 per cent quarter on quarter, but 0.7 per cent lower on an annual basis.

By the end of March, the total credit outstanding at banks in Ireland was €99 billion, just over 4 per cent lower than the same period a year earlier.

Mortgages continued to decline in the first quarter of the year, decreasing by 0.6 per cent over the quarter and representing a ninth consecutive quarterly fall.

The total value of mortgages outstanding on Irish banks' balance sheets currently stands at €79.9 billion. In contrast, the peak for home loans, including securitised mortgages, was hit in March 2009 at €149 billion.

The majority of the mortgages are what is known as “floating rate”, and include standard variable rate, tracker rate, and mortgages with a fixed rate up to one year. Tracker mortgages accounted for 49 per cent of mortgages, although the figures had fallen by €276 million during the quarter.

Fixed rate loans accounted for 13 per cent of outstanding home loans.