Mortgage approvals slump, falling 8.6% in one month

Mortgage Approvals Slump, Falling 8.6% In One Month
Last month's figures showed a 13.3 per cent decline on February 2022. Photo: iStock
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Muireann Duffy

Mortgage activity declined in February amid a slowdown in the industry.

Figures from Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) showed 1,877 first-time buyer (FTB) mortgages were approved last month, down slightly on January's 1,890, while mover purchasers accounted for 801 of February's approvals.


Overall, approvals last month were down 8.6 per cent month-on-month, and 13.3 per cent annually, while the value of mortgages was also down, by 6.9 per cent on January's figures and by 8.1 per cent compared to February 2022.

Of the €945 million approved in mortgages last month, 55.9 per cent was for FTBs (€528 million) and 27.9 per cent (€263 million) for movers.

Non-purchase activity, such as mortgage switching or top-ups, also fell 30.9 per cent in terms of volume on the same period last year, and by 32.6 per cent (144 million) in terms of value.

"While our latest figures show a slowdown in approvals across almost all customer segments in volume and value terms, it is important that we look at this in the context of the significant decline we are seeing in switching activity," BPFI's chief executive Brian Hayes said.


"In February, non-purchase mortgage approvals, mainly made up of switching, fell by almost 31 per cent in volume terms year-on-year and this decline has had an impact on the overall slowdown we have seen in this month’s figures.

"This fall off was expected given the substantial wave of switching undertaken by customers in recent months with almost €4.3 billion in new non-purchase approvals (mainly switching) in the twelve months ending January 2023."

Mr Hayes added that despite last month's slowdown, mortgage activity remains at "historically high levels", and demand remains particularly strong among FTBs.

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