Irish homeowners are switching lenders as never before with switchers now accounting for almost a quarter of all new mortgages being approved. Through out 2022 mortgage switching has been on the rise. New lending remains at just a fraction of Celtic Tiger levels with €12bn expected this year compared to a 2006 peak of almost €40bn.
New figures show that the number of mortgages approved last month fell compared with June, though it was still higher than in the same month last year. Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) said that 5,255 mortgages were approved in July – down almost 12% from June, but up 4.4% compared with July 2021.
The annual increase, however, was driven by a jump in non-mortgage activity, which includes switching and top-ups. This category grew by 95.8 per cent in volume terms year-on-year to 1,741, and by 147.6 per cent year-on-year in value to €441 million.
“Our latest mortgage data is showing continued growth in mortgage activity which is being driven mainly by non-purchase mortgages – primarily those who are re-mortgaging or switching,” BPFI chief executive Brian Hayes said.
“Looking at the annualised figures which allows us to more accurately assess emerging key trends, there were 55,689 mortgage approvals in the 12 months ending July 2022, valued at €14,753 million. This represented a volume increase of 0.40 per cent and a value increase 1.17 per cent of compared with the twelve months ending June 2022.
Non-purchase mortgage activity, most of which is switching, has increased sharply since May, reflecting both the competition in the market and the fact that mortgage customers continue to shop around for better rates,” he said.
A sequence of interest rate hikes planned by the European Central Bank is expected to dampen demand in the coming months.
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