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Mortgage market in Ireland grows 20% in 2018


THE Irish market for mortgages slowed in the fourth quarter, but grew overall in 2018 by almost 20 per cent as first-time buyers returned to the market, the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland said on Tuesday.

A sharp recovery in house prices that began five years ago and accelerated again last year amid tight supply has begun to cool, making it slightly easier for prospective buyers to get on the housing ladder. The latest Irish annual residential property price data showed that price growth eased to 7.1 per cent in November, the lowest level in almost 2-1/2 years, as prices fell on a monthly basis for the first time since the end of 2016.

In total, some 40,203 mortgages with a value of 8.7 billion euro (S$13.4 billion) were drawn down in 2018, representing an increase of 19.7 per cent in value and 15.5 per cent in volume on the total for 2017. The end-of-year slowdown was flagged in October by then AIB chief executive Bernard Byrne who said that the Irish market for mortgages would be smaller than expected in 2018, but the shortfall would be erased in the medium term as newly-built property becomes available for buyers. REUTERS