29 May 2009

First Fall in Irish Mortgages since 1990

Ireland's property market is in stagnation as house prices are falling steadily (see my entry of May 27th) and most people have neither the money nor the will to buy property at this time of economic recession and financial insecurity.

The latest monthly statistics from the Central Bank of Ireland show now the first net fall in mortgage lending since 1990.
The bank's figures for April 2009 confirm that the Irish property market has slowed to a trickle, and in some parts of the country it has dried up completely.

It is the first time that repayments on existing mortgages have been greater than new mortgage lendings since the Central Bank began this monthly statistics series in 1990. Overall, mortgage lending fell by over € 100 million last month.

The amount of money lent out in the rest of the economy also fell, reflecting concerns raised by many business groups about their great difficulties of accessing credit, or even normal business overdraft facilities to maintain proper cash flow.

The Central Bank's statistic also shows a sharp fall-off in credit card spending. The amount of money Irish consumers spent using their credit cards in April was € 180 million lower than in April of last year.

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