Mortgage approvals up 14% in the year to April

Mortgage approvals up 14% in the year to April

The number of mortgage approvals rose more than 14 per cent in the year to the end of April, new figures from Banking & Payments Federation Ireland show.

The value of mortgages was up almost 20 per cent in the year, and 10.4 per cent compared to March, the figures showed.

A total of 3,751 mortgages were approved in April, with almost half granted to first-time buyers. Mover purchasers, meanwhile, accounted for 29 per cent of the monthly total.

However, first-time buyer mortgage approval volumes were down 1.1 per cent over the year, with mover purchase approval volumes increasing by 15.4 per cent.

Residential investment letting mortgage approvals rose to 168 during April, a rise of 27.3 per cent in volume compared with the same month in 2017.

Meanwhile, consumers were hunting down better value, with re-mortgage and switching approvals rising 103.5 per cent in volume terms to 485.

In total, there were 3,031 purchase mortgage approvals worth €705 million in April 2018.

The figures showed the total value of mortgages approved in the month was about €842 million, with €400 million going to first-time buyers and €281 million to movers. Remortgaging and switchers were worth €116 million, while top-up approvals of €21 million represented a rise of 60.4 per cent year-on-year. Buy to lets totalled €25 million.

Rising property prices were reflected in the yearly figures, with the average home purchase approval up almost 6 per cent to €237,732.

First-time buyers were approved for mortgages worth an average of €225,000, a rise of 7.7 per cent, with the average mover purchase approval at €258,533, an increase of 1.7 per cent year on year.

The figures came as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development warned of another potential property bubble amid rising house prices and rapid credit growth.

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