Mortgage approvals way up in April

A 18.7% recovery on a monthly basis, with the rate of decline slowing in the medium term...

Davy Stockbrokers has reported that mortgage approvals in Ireland enjoyed a strong month in April.

The rate of people securing mortgages was up 18.7% month-on-month, with 2,978 loans approved during April, worth some €573 million.

It marks the highest monthly out-turn since the series started five years ago, and the first time volumes have increased by over 1% month-on-month since July 2015.

Approvals in the first-time buyer category were particularly plentiful, increasing 47% year-on-year and accounting for €317m of the overall sum.

April offered something of a bounce back, as the three-month moving average basis to the end of that month actually saw mortgage approvals fall

The rate of decline, however, is slowing, down just 1.9% on a year-on-year basis.

The number of people taking advantage of the falling mortgage rates at some institutions and re-mortgaging was also up.

Activity in the switching market rose 76.6% for the three months to end April. There were 136 switches in the month of April, up from 77 in April 2015.

David McNamara heralded an "exceptionally strong month", whilst the Irish Times reports that Investec forecasts total mortgage drawdowns of €5.5bn for the year, up 12% on 2015.