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Mortgage approvals see annual rise of 4.1% in August

Mortgage approvals see annual rise of 4.1% in August

New figures show that the number of mortgages approved rose by 4.1% in August on an annual basis, while they fell by 15.1% compared to July.

The Banking & Payments Federation Ireland, which is urging an extension of the Help to Buy scheme in next month’s Budget, said a total of 4,355 mortgages were approved in August.

Over 51% of these mortgages were for first-time buyers while mover purchasers accounted for 27.9%, the BPFI figures show.

Mortgages approved in August were valued at €968m. First time buyers accounted for €500m (51.7%) of these mortgage approvals, while mover buyers made up €309m (31.9%) of the total.

The BPFI said the value of mortgage approvals rose by 4% year-on-year in August, while they fell by 16.7% month-on-month.

Meanwhile, re-mortgage or switching approvals fell in volume by 8.7% on the previous month and by 14.9% year on year in August.

Brian Hayes, BPFI’s chief executive, said there was significant volatility in monthly mortgage approvals figures over the summer months.

“July may have been an outlier but the latest approval figures indicate continued year-on-year growth in mortgage lending in overall terms,” Mr Hayes said.

He noted that the Help to Buy scheme has been a key support for first time buyers, with an estimated nine out of ten FTBs using the scheme.

“To avoid a slowdown in housebuilding, we strongly recommend that the scheme be extended in the Budget for a clearly defined period to provide the certainty that is needed going forward,” he added.

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