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News : Property Last Updated: May 14, 2014 - 12:04 PM


Irish home mortgages paid in Q1 2014 at lowest since 1972
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
May 13, 2014 - 1:24 PM

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Irish home mortgages paid in Q1 2014 were at the lowest since 1972 according to data issued Tuesday.

The Irish Banking Federation for positive impact has highlighted a 65.6%  rise over Q1 2013 but the inconvenient fact that is missing is that mortgages paid in Q1 2013 had plunged as the end of mortgage interest relief  at in December 2012 had resulted in a temporary spike in Q4 2012.

The IBF/PwC Mortgage Market Profile, published today, shows that a total of 3,425 new mortgages to the value of €568m were drawn down by borrowers in Ireland during the first quarter of 2014. This compared with 5,206 in Q4 2013 and a value of €898.

The Irish Banking Federation endorsed by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the Big 4 auditing firm, says "the latest figures represent an increase of 65.6% in volume and 71.6% in value on the corresponding first quarter of 2013.  Although the first quarter is traditionally the weakest in any year, these latest figures represent the first time a year-on-year increase has been recorded in the first quarter of the year since 2006."

What it doesn't wish to highlight is that in Q4 2012 there were drawdowns on 6,043 mortgages with a value of €999m.

The lobby group says that key home purchaser segments of the market, First Time Buyers and Mover Purchasers, continue to dominate the market accounting for almost 85.9% of new mortgages issued.  In effect, over 90% (91.2%) of all mortgage credit now goes to the home purchasing segments of the market.

Noel Brett, IBF chief executive, said: “We welcome the notable year-on-year increase in the number of new mortgages drawn down during the first quarter of this year" - - as we have pointed out, there was no normal notable increase.

"Notwithstanding the fact that Q1 is traditionally the weakest of the four quarters in any year, the volumes recorded are the highest Q1 figures we have seen since 2010 and the first time we have seen Q1 year-on-year growth since 2006. Today’s figures provide further encouraging evidence that the market continues to recover. That said, we remain concerned that housing supply constraints in key locations are becoming a serious impediment to sustained growth; and this is reflected in the widening gap we see developing between the level of mortgage approvals and actual drawdowns,” he added.

Irish House Prices 2014: National prices up 7.8% in year to March; Dublin up 14.3%

In 1972, as per the chart above, there were 14,168 mortgages drawdowns in 1972 and 11,728 in 1971. That compares with an annualised level of 13,700 in Q1 2014.

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