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Strong growth in mortgage drawdown activity in 2018 but slowdown evident in approvals activity in December

29th January 2019

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) has today published the latest figures from the BPFI Mortgage Drawdowns Report for Q4 2018 and Mortgage Approvals Report for December 2018.

The following are the key figures the Mortgage Drawdowns report for Q4 2018:

  • 12,112 new mortgages to the value of €2,635 million were drawn down by borrowers during the fourth quarter of 2018
  • This represents an increase of 17.0% in volume and 18.2% in value on the corresponding fourth quarter of 2017.
  • It also represents an increase of 11.4% in volume and 11.3% in value compared with the previous quarter (Q3 2018).
  • First-time buyers (FTBs) remain the single largest segment by volume (47.5%) and by value (48.0%). Together, FTBs and mover-purchasers accounted for 79.9% of the total value of mortgages drawn down.
  • In total some 40,203 mortgages to a value of €8,722 million were drawn down in 2018. This represents an increase of 19.7% in value and 15.5% in volume  on the total in 2017.

The volume and the value of re-mortgage loans (switching) continue to increase: there were 1,684 re-mortgage/switching loans in Q4 2018 to the value of €398 million. This reflects year-on-year growth of 71.0% in volume and 71.5% in value.

In addition, BPFI also published the latest figures from the BPFI Mortgage Approvals Report for December 2018. The following are the key elements:

  • A total of 2,908 mortgages were approved in December 2018 – some 1,363 (46.9% of total volume) were for FTBs while mover purchasers accounted for 829 (28.5%).
  • The number of mortgages approved rose by 5.9% year-on-year and fell by 29.1% month-on-month.
  • Mortgages approved in December 2018 were valued at €656 million – of which FTBs accounted for €301 million (45.9%) and €220 million (33.5%) by mover purchasers.
  • The value of mortgage approvals rose by 9.6% year-on-year and fell by 26.8% month-on-month.
  • During 2018 a total of 45,656 mortgages were approved to the value of €10,126 million.

Re-mortgage/switching approvals rose on a year-on-year basis – by 52.7% in volume and by 77.4% in value terms.

Commenting on these latest figures, BPFI’s Director Public Affairs, Felix O’Regan, stated:

“A comparison of total drawdown activity in 2018 shows a near 20% growth over 2017. In effect, €1.44 billion more (19.7%) was drawn down in 2018 than in 2017 by mortgage borrowers.  Almost half of this was by FTBs – by far the single largest segment of the market.  Notably, growth was evident across all market segments but particularly among those switching mortgages and FTBs.  While end-of-year approval activity showed some sign of slowdown due to seasonal factors, the indications are that 2019 will see continued growth in mortgage drawdown activity.”

The BPFI Mortgage Drawdowns and Mortgage Approvals reports can be viewed on the BPFI website here.


Note: Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) represents the banking, payments and fintech sector in Ireland.  Together with its affiliates, the Federation of International Banks in Ireland and the Fintech & Payments Association of Ireland, BPFI has over 70 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.

Contact: Jillian Heffernan, Head of Communications, 087 9016880

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