Significant decline in switching activity amid overall slowdown
Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) has today published the latest figures from the BPFI Mortgage Approvals Report for February 2023. The following are the key elements:
- A total of 3,378 mortgages were approved in February 2023 – first-time buyers (FTBs) were approved for 1,877 mortgages (55.6% of total volume) while mover purchasers accounted for 801 (23.7%).
- The number of mortgages approved fell by 8.6% month-on-month and by 13.3% compared with the same period last year.
- Mortgages approved in February were valued at €945 million – of which FTBs accounted for €528 million (55.9%) and mover purchasers for €263 million (27.9%).
- The value of mortgage approvals fell by 6.9% month-on-month and by 8.1% year-on-year.
- Non-purchase mortgage activity, which includes switching and top-ups, fell by 30.9% year on year in volume terms to 634 and by 32.6% year on year to €144 million in the same period.
Speaking on the publication of the data, Brian Hayes, Chief Executive, BPFI stated: “While our latest figures show a slowdown in approvals across almost all customer segments in volume and value terms, it is important that we look at this in the context of the significant decline we are seeing in switching activity. In February, non-purchase mortgage approvals, mainly made up of switching, fell by almost 31% in volume terms year on year and this decline has had an impact on the overall slowdown we have seen in this month’s figures. This fall off was expected given the substantial wave of switching undertaken by customers in recent months with almost €4.3 billion in new non-purchase approvals (mainly switching) in the twelve months ending January 2023.”
“Despite the slowdown we have seen in February, it is important to note that mortgage activity remains at historically high levels with almost €1.6 billion in approvals for FTBs and mover purchasers in the first two months of the year. Demand is particularly strong among FTBs, which accounted for almost 56% of the volume and value of mortgage approvals in February, with the Revenue Commissioners reporting over 11,000 applications for the Help to Buy scheme in the year to date.”
Note: Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) represents the banking, payments and fintech sector in Ireland. Together with its affiliates, the Federation of International Banks in Ireland, and the Fintech & Payments Association of Ireland, BPFI has over 125 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.
Read the full BPFI Mortgage Approvals Report February 2023 below or download here.BPFI-Mortgage-Approvals-Report-February-2023
Whether you are looking to switch lender currently, keen to switch to a suitable fixed rate, are a first time buyer or moving home and should you have any concerns about the issues raised in this article, or investing in a buy-to-let property, why not chat to a Seaspray Mortgage adviser today about finding the mortgage or rate that’s right for you:
Seaspray Financial Services Ltd trading as Seaspray Mortgages is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland with registered number C165527
Shevlin, L. (2023) ‘Latest mortgage data from BPFI shows slowdown in mortgage approvals in February’, Banking & Payments Federation Ireland, 24 March. Available at : https://bpfi.ie/publications/bpfi-mortgage-approvals-february-2023/ (Accessed 24 March 2023).