30/06/2009

Mortgage Value Dropping As Market Slows

News today that the value of outstanding mortgage loans fell by €18 million in May - as repayments accelerated ahead of the value of new lending - is being blamed on continuing low levels of activity in the housing market.

That's according to monthly Central Bank data which shows that the latest figures are an emerging trend, first noted in April this year.

Outstanding mortgage debt last month stood at €148.2 billion with the bank saying the amount of debt has increased by only €296 million so far this year, compared to €4.6 billion over the same period in 2008.

This brought the annual rate of increase in mortgage lending to a record low of 2.6% in May, from a revised 3.3% in April.

The overall rate of private-sector credit growth also declined by almost €1 billion last month, following a drop of €1.8 billion in April, bringing the annual rate of credit growth to 0.8%.

This is the lowest on record.

Meanwhile, credit card repayments by Irish residents also outstripped new borrowings by €23 million last month, following a trend evident since the start of the year.

The annual rate of increase in credit card indebtedness was 0.1% in May, again the lowest on record.

(BMcC/JM)

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