Moartgage share boost for building societies


BUILDING societies increased their share of the mortgage market in the third quarter of 1996, according to housing statistics released by the Department of the Environment.

Building societies accounted for 33.8 per cent of loans advanced in the third quarter, up from 30.3 per cent in the previous quarter. The market share of banks and other agencies fell to 65.9 per cent from 69.4 per cent, according to the latest Housing Statistics Bulletin.

Irish Permanent, the former building society which converted into a publicly-quoted bank in 1994, is included in the building society figures.

The latest figures show that interest in endowment mortgages continued to fall. Endowment mortgages accounted for only 4.6 per cent of the loans paid in the third quarter down from 5.3 per cent in the previous quarter and from 6.8 per cent in the corresponding quarter of 1995.

Annuity mortgages accounted for the vast majority of loans paid out with 95.4 per cent of the market. However, the popularity of fixed interest rate mortgages is increasing. They accounted for 57.7 per cent of all loans paid in the third quarter, up from 55 per cent in the previous quarter and from 51.1 per cent in the corresponding quarter of 1995. This compared with a market share of 42.3 per cent for variable interest rate mortgages.

New house prices continued to increase, rising by 7.3 per cent in the quarter. The average price of a new house was £71,592 in the third quarter compared with £66,708 in the previous quarter. New houses cost most in Dublin, rising on average by 3.2 per cent to £78,222, followed by Galway where the average price was 8.6 per cent higher at £76,179.

The prices of second-hand houses rose more slowly, increasing by 3.4 per cent to an average of £69,599. The highest prices were in Dublin where the average price of a second-hand house was £83,760, up 2.3 per cent. Galway had the second-highest average price for second-hand houses at £66,655, but the price was lower than in the previous quarter, down by 3.2 per cent.

There are a total of 27,427 households, including almost 1,000 homeless families, in need of local authority housing, according to the latest housing needs assessment. The assessment is based on a survey of returns made by local authorities on March 29th, 1996. They mark a fall of 4per cent on figures for those seeking local authority housing in 1993.

The largest group seeking public housing, 27.9 per cent, are those unable to afford their own accommodation, up from 22.5 per cent in 1993.