Record numbers of first-time buyer mortgages approved

First-time buyer mortgage activity remains strong amid wider market slowdown, according to latest figures from the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland.

A record number of first-time buyer mortgages were approved in July.

A total of 4,747 mortgages were approved in July 2023 – first-time buyers (FTBs) were approved for 2,918 mortgages (61.5% of total volume) while mover purchasers accounted for 1,148 (24.2%).

“Help to Buy approval figures demonstrate that the pipeline for FTB mortgage drawdowns remains very strong”

This brings the volume of first-time buyer mortgages to 29,754 for the year to the end of July, with a combined value of nearly €8.4n.

Wider market slowdown

The number of mortgages approved fell by 0.4% month-on-month and by 9.7% compared with the same period last year.

Mortgages approved in July were valued at €1.3bn – of which FTBs accounted for €837m (61.7%) and mover purchasers for €391m (28.9%).

The value of mortgage approvals remained the same month-on-month and fell by 6.7% year-on-year.

Re-mortgage/switching activity fell by 78.6% in volume terms year-on-year and by 80.3% in value in the same period. 

“Our latest mortgage approval figures show that, despite a wider market slowdown, first-time buyer (FTB) activity remains strong,” said Ali Ugur, chief economist, BPFI.

“Volumes and values rose by 22.8% and 26.7%, respectively, year-on-year in July 2023, the fifth successive month in which FTB mortgage approvals have risen in year-on-year terms.

“This sustained growth meant that almost 30,000 FTB mortgages (29,754) valued at nearly €8.4bn (€8,365m) were approved in the twelve months ending July 2023, the highest annualised levels since the data series began. In addition to the more than 22,000 Help to Buy applications reported by the Revenue Commissioners up to the end of July, today’s approval figures demonstrate that the pipeline for FTB mortgage drawdowns remains very strong.”

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