Switching activity drives mortgage approvals in June – BPFI
The latest figures from the Banking & Payments Federation on the mortgage market point to a substantial increase in mortgage switching activity in recent months.
The volume of approvals in this category was up over 150% year on year in June to 1,789 mortgages, the BPFI calculates.
Boosted by this increased switching activity, the number of mortgage approvals in the twelve months to the end of June reached 55,467, the highest level recorded since the data series began in 2011.
Brokers and analysts had been reporting a surge in enquiries about switching in recent months as expectations grew that the European Central Bank would follow its global counterparts in raising interest rates.
Last Thursday, the ECB opted to hike all its rates by 0.5% – double the 0.25% increase it had previously guided.
The increase – which comes into effect this week – will be automatically passed on to tracker mortgage holders.
Permanent TSB and Bank of Ireland have said they won’t be passing it on to their variable rate mortgage customers.
Some mortgage providers have increased their fixed rate offerings in recent months to reflect the increasing cost of funds on money markets.
Trevor Grant, Chairperson of the Association of Irish Mortgage Advisors, said while the majority of customers looking to switch were variable rates customers, an increasing number were on existing fixed rates.
“Many have been pleasantly surprised to discover that the exit penalty on the existing fixed rate is very low, or zero in many cases,” he said.
Mr Grant cautioned any tracker mortgage holder who might be considering giving up their tracker for a fixed rate product to get advice.
He said there may be merit in some homeowners making the switch, depending on the margin they are paying on their tracker over the ECB rate.
Average drawdown surpasses boom years peak
Just short of 12,000 new mortgages to the value of €3,134 million were drawn down by borrowers in the second quarter of 2022, the Banking & Payments Federation figures show.
This represents an increase in volume terms of 24.5% and 40.6% in value on the same three month period last year.
First-time buyers remained the single largest segment accounting for roughly half of the activity.
The average mortgage drawdown by a first-time buyer rose by 13% year on year to €263,312, the highest level since this data series began in 2003.
The previous record was €251,831 in the first three months of 2008.
The figures also point to an increase in mortgage approval activity in the month of June.
5,960 mortgages were approved in the month to the value of €1.666 billion.
The value was up almost 15% in the month but by over 30% year on year.