The positive trend in mortgage approvals in Ireland continued in July, with the latest lending data from the Banking and Payments Federation this morning showing an increase in both value and volume across the board. The total value of mortgages approved grew by 24% yoy in July. While this is slower than the growth achieved in June (+37% yoy), it represents a healthy rate of increase.
In the three months to July, the total value of mortgage approvals was up 29% yoy. This was driven by growth in volume approved (+18% yoy) as well as growth in average loan size (+9% yoy). The strongest growth continued to come from Re-mortgaging, which grew in value by 93% yoy in the 3 months to July. The strongest growth in transactional mortgage values over the 3-month period came from first-time buyers (27% yoy) and mover purchasers (23% yoy) versus 16% yoy growth in investor mortgages.
The July data is building on the rebound seen in Q2 as the impact of the macro-prudential rules introduced by the Central Bank in February 2015 dissipates. The strong approvals growth in Q2 and into early Q3 augurs well for a pick-up in lending activity in H2 and possibly the first few months of 2017. Though still early, it probably lends credence to the view that the risk bias to our €5.2bn gross new lending figure +(9% yoy) for the full year is positive.