Mortgage rise only for NI

Published Monday, 27 February 2012
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Northern Ireland was the only UK region to see a rise in the number of house purchase loans in the final three months of 2011, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

Mortgage rise only for NI
CML say reduced prices are making homes more affordable. (© Citylets)

The latest figures show there were a total of 2,500 loans during the quarter, worth £240m.

This represents an increase of 4% by number and value over the previous three months.

Meanwhile UK-wide lending fell 5% by volume and 7% by value.

Chair of CML NI, Derek Wilson, said he hopes the positive result will "breed confidence" in the local market.

"The increase in house purchase loans is a much needed confidence boost to the market in Northern Ireland," Mr Wilson said.

"Lack of job security and underlying economic uncertainty have led to a lack of demand for mortgages, particularly among movers.

"We need to try to combat the general feeling of negativity and to promote the value of the wider property market to the economy encouraging confidence to breed confidence."

Property values have been falling for months amid weak demand and the wider economic crisis which has restricted lending.

Overall figures for 2011 showed an 11% decrease in the number of mortgages in NI at 8,800 loans - however the 7,200 remortgage loans taken out represented a 1% increase from 2010.

The number of first-time buyers in Northern Ireland stayed at 1,400 from the third quarter to the final quarter and increased from 1,100 in the last quarter of 2010.

Tom McClelland, housing spokesman for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, said: "The housing market is bumping around.

"If you look at the auction results they are good because of high levels of sales because the prices are so low.

"There is a large amount of debt that has to be dealt with, the price falls make houses a lot more affordable for most of the population."

© UTV News
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