Last year saw the highest number of mortgage drawdowns since 2009, worth a total value of €10.5 billion.
43,994 mortgages were drawn down in 2021, a 9.4% increase on the previous year.
Figures from Banking and Payments Federation Ireland show the value of mortgage drawdowns last year was the highest since 2008, when the financial crisis hit.
First time buyers continue to make up the majority of the mortgage market when it comes to both the number and value of drawdowns, with 54.4% of all mortgages going to first time purchasers.
People getting a mortgage to move home made up 24.4% of drawdowns in 2021, which shows a major shift in the market since the financial crash.
“FTBs continue to drive the growth with FTB volumes at their highest level since 2007 and 14.8% higher than in 2008,” said Brian Hayes, Chief Executive of BPFI.
“By contrast, mover purchase volumes were 48.2% lower than in 2008,” he added.
A total of 53,335 mortgages were approved in 2021, up almost 24% on the previous year.
The value of approvals jumped by 30% to €13.4 billion.
“These are the highest levels recorded since the data series began in 2011,” Mr Hayes said.
However, the number of mortgage approvals in December 2021 was down 22.2% on November and 3.6% year-on-year at 3,856.
Mortgage values saw a similar drop, but Brian Hayes isn’t expecting that to last through 2022.
“We anticipate a strong pipeline of mortgage approvals which will be further bolstered by the recent operational flexibility announced to the CBI’s macroprudential rules,” he said.
“With an increase in housing supply also projected we expect all these factors combined to lead to strong activity in the housing and mortgage markets during 2022.”
An update on the Government’s Housing for All plan is expected later today, after Minister Darragh O’Brien presented figures to Cabinet yesterday.
It’s expected to show an increase in housing commencements in 2021, but still well below the number of new mortgage approvals, suggesting the squeeze on the housing market will continue for some time yet.