158,000 new mortgages issued in 2007

First-time buyers maintain share of market

Strong growth in switching activity

The latest in the series of the IBF/PwC Mortgage Market Profile shows that new lending continues to moderate to more sustainable levels in a mortgage market that is still growing in overall terms. Published today by the Irish Banking Federation (IBF), the data also shows that first-time buyers are maintaining market share and that switching activity is growing strongly.

The latest IBF/PwC Mortgage Market Profile shows that 37,719 new mortgages to the value of some €8.3 billion were issued during the fourth quarter of 2007, bringing to 158,098 the total number of new mortgages issued in 2007 to a value of €33.8 billion. Within this overall picture a number of key findings emerge from an analysis of the published data. First-time buyers (FTB) have increased their share (by volume) of the total mortgage market to 19.3% in 2007, which is up from 18% in 2006.

The level of switching activity (re-mortgage) continues to increase and now accounts for 16.4% of all new mortgage lending (by volume) in 2007, compared to 13% in 2006. It recorded in Q4 2007 its highest market share to date, standing at 19.4% of all new mortgage lending (by volume). At 19.4%, residential investment letting (RIL) has retained its share (by value) of the market from Q3 to Q4 2007.

Commenting on the data, IBF Chief Executive, Pat Farrell, stated: “Our data is wholly consistent with all other indicators of housing market activity in showing that the mortgage market continues to adjust to more sustainable levels of new lending. That said, within a market that continues to grow in absolute terms and now stands at €140 billion, the first-time buyer share is staying consistently strong, the residential investment letting segment is proving resilient and activity in the switching market is intensifying.”

The IBF/PwC Mortgage Market Profile can be viewed on the web at www.ibf.ie.

Note to Journalists: Irish Banking Federation (IBF) is the leading representative body for the banking and financial services sector in Ireland, representing over 70 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.

Further Information: Felix O’Regan, Head of PR and Public Affairs, IBF, tel. 6715311, 087 6481644