Latest mortgage data from BPFI shows volume of FTB drawdowns at highest Q1 levels since 2007

29 Apr , 2021  

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) has today published the latest figures from the BPFI Mortgage Drawdowns Report for Q1 2021 and the BPFI Mortgage Approvals Report for March 2021.
The following are the key figures from the Mortgage Drawdowns Report for Q1 2021. The following are the key elements:

  • A total of 9,091 new mortgages to the value of €2,142 million were drawn down by borrowers during the first quarter of 2021 – this was the most drawdowns approved in Q1 of any year since 2009.
  • This represents an increase of 4.5% in volume and 7.3% in value on the corresponding first quarter of 2020. 
  • First-time buyers (FTBs) remained the single largest segment by volume (51.9%) and by value (50.8%). 
  • New properties (including self-builds) accounted for only 23.2% of property purchase/build mortgages in Q1 2021, down from 28.5% in Q1 2020 and the smallest share since Q4 2016.

In addition, BPFI also published today the latest figures from the BPFI Mortgage Approvals Report for March 2021:

  • A total of 4,324 mortgages were approved in March 2021 – some 2,394 were for FTBs (55.4%) of total volume) while mover purchasers accounted for 924 (21.4%).
  • The number of mortgages approved in March rose by 18.4% month-on-month and by 15.8% year-on-year.
  • Mortgages approved in March 2021 were valued at €1,064 million – of which FTBs accounted for €608 million (57.2%) and 260 million by mover purchasers (24.5%).
  • The value of mortgage approvals rose by 17.9% month-on-month and by 21.0% year-on-year.

Speaking on the publication of the data, Brian Hayes, Chief Executive, BPFI said: “Our latest mortgage drawdowns and approvals data for Q1 2021 is showing a very strong performance considering that level 5 Covid restrictions were in place for the entire first quarter of this year. This is in contrast to the same period last year when the market was functioning as per normal as Covid restrictions really only came into effect at the end of March 2020. During Q1 2021, we have seen the highest number of Q1 drawdowns of any year since 2009 with first-time buyer drawdown volumes at their highest Q1 levels since 2007. Similarly we have seen strong growth in approvals which are up 7.8% in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2020. This shows a strong pipeline for future demand as we move into the latter part of the year.”

Mr Hayes continued: “Interestingly, where we have seen the impact of Covid restrictions is on the types of properties on which mortgages are being drawn down, with new properties (including self-builds) accounting for only 23.2% of property purchase/build mortgages in Q1 2021, down from 28.5% a year earlier and the smallest share since Q4 2016.”

“Looking more in-depth we can see the number of mover purchase mortgages on new properties fell by 28.8% year-on-year while the volume on secondhand properties rose by 11.3%. Similarly, the volume of FTB mortgages on new properties fell by 8.4% year-on-year while the number of mortgages on secondhand properties rose by 14.8%. This points to the severe limitations we have seen on the construction industry over the last 12 months which is having a clear impact on supply. With all residential construction now underway again the challenge remains how to address the strong demand for housing, clearly evident in today’s figures, with the continued pressure which has been growing on supply.”