First Time Buyers the main driver of mortgage drawdown and approvals activity

First Time Buyers the main driver of mortgage drawdown and approvals activity

The Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) has today published the latest figures from the BPFI Mortgage Drawdowns Report for the third quarter 2019 and BPFI Mortgage Approvals Report for September 2019.

The report shows that 11,794 new mortgages to the value of €2,639 million were drawn down by borrowers during the third quarter of 2019. This represents an increase of 8.5% in volume and 11.4% in value on the corresponding third quarter of 2018. A comparison with the previous quarter (Q2 2019) also shows an increase of 16.1% in volume and 17.3% and in value terms.

The figures show that first-time buyers (FTBs) remain the single largest segment by volume (50.9%) and by value (51.9%). A total of 3,824 mortgages were approved in September 2019 – some 1,972 were for FTBs (51.6% of total volume) while mover purchasers accounted for 1,001 (26.2%).

The number of mortgages approved remained virtually unchanged year-on-year but fell by 12.2% compared to the previous month. Mortgages approved in September 2019 were valued at €833 million – of which FTBs accounted for €438 million (52.6%) and €256 million by mover purchasers (30.7%). The value of mortgage approvals rose by 1.2% year-on-year but fell by 14.0% month-on-month.

Commenting on these latest figures, BPFI’s Chief Executive, Brian Hayes said, "It is clear from these latest figures for mortgage drawdowns, as well as mortgage approvals, that First Time Buyers (FTBs) are the main drivers of activity – a trend which has been evident for some time. The continued growth in the number of mortgages drawn down during Q3 reflects the uplift in approvals activity generally through much of the earlier part of the year. Within this the FTB numbers are particularly strong showing a 14.3% increase in volume; and in accounting for more than 50% of total drawdowns they remain the single largest segment of the market."

He added, "While the overall picture for mortgage approvals in September is flat, the FTB category alone shows growth of 10.7%. Our analysis earlier this year of the Government’s Help to Buy Scheme showed that between 84% and 92% of FTBs buying a new property utilised the Scheme during the period 2018-2019. The decision to extend the scheme for two years to end-2021 is welcome."