Almost 1,500 mortgages were approved in December in what was another good month for mortgage activity. Figures complied by the Irish Banking Federation show that 1,446 applicants got approval during in December 2012, up 30% from the same month in the previous year. The news is very positive and shows that demand for mortgages is still strong despite the planned end-of-year deadline to get mortgage interest relief for first time buyers.
However, there was a slight drop in the amount of approvals when compared to November’s figures. As the deadline cut-off for tax relief was on the 31st December 2012, there was a rush for people in November to draw down before then in order to be eligible for interest relief on their loan repayments. Reduced approvals for December is also explained as the banks close for the Christmas period, meaning less business is done.
This would mean that applicants who started the mortgage process in December are doing so knowing that they would not get tax relief, showing signs of sustained mortgage demand despite the absence of Government incentives. And, the banks are preparing themselves to satisfy this demand with Bank of Ireland, AIB and Permanent TSB all planning to put aside substantial funds for mortgage lending this year.