Mortgage approvals increase 5% in February

First-time buyers make up half of loans agreed but switchers lift figures

Photograph: iStock

Photograph: iStock


Mortgage approvals rose 5 per cent in February, with first-time buyers making up just over half of total approvals during the month.

Figures from the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland showed the 3,137 home loans that were agreed were 0.3 per cent down on last month’s figures, when 3,145 loans were approved. Mover purchasers made up 808, or almost 26 per cent.

But the figures were lifted by mortgage switchers and top-ups, as the volume of purchase mortgage activity fell 1.8 per cent in February 2018 as residential investment letting mortgages fell by 12.3 per cent and mover purchasers fell 5.8 per cent year on year. There were a total of 2,523 purchase mortgage approvals, valued at €580 million during February.

The number of people remortgaging or switching loan providers rose 64 per cent in volume terms year on year. For the 12 months ending February 2018, almost 4,000 home owners switched mortgage provider.

Value continued to rise, with the total figure for February up over 11 per cent compared with last year, and 0.2 per cent month on month. Overall, a total value of €691 million in home loans was approved, with €351 million going to first time buyers and €211 million to mover purchasers.