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New mortgage lending down 30% in 2008

18 February 2009:   RTE Business

New research has found that mortgage lending in the final quarter of last year was down 50% compared to the same time last year.  The figures also show that the number of new mortgages issued during the last three months of 2008 fell by one third compared to the period July to September. Overall new mortgage lending fell by 30% in 2008, compared to the previous year.  The research by the Irish Banking Federation and Pricewaterhouse Coopers shows that 18,706 new mortgages, worth €3.5 billion, were issued in the last quarter of 2008.

In total 110,000 new mortgages, worth €23 billion, were issued during the year, bringing the overall mortgage book in the country to €148 billion.

The share of the market taken by first time buyers increased during the period, and now stands at 21%. The overall loan size fell across all areas of the market.

Meanwhile, Halifax has announced new fixed mortgage rates for first-time home buyers, following similar moves by Bank of Ireland and AIB recently. Halifax is offering a new one-year fixed rate of 2.9% (APR 3.17%) and has lowered its two-year fixed rate to 2.9% (APR 3.14%). The rates are available from March 2.

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