One of Europe's most troubled real estate markets has enjoyed a long-overdue splash of good news: the number of new mortgages issued in Ireland rose annually in the third quarter, marking the first year-over-year increase in six years.
Reuters, citing the Irish Banking Federation/PwC quarterly mortgage survey, reports that almost 4,000 new mortgages were issued in Ireland in the third quarter. This is up nearly 25% from the previous quarter and up 10% on the same period last year. The value of those mortgages – $845.65 million – is the largest since the end of 2010.
Furthemore, Ireland's Central Statistics Office issued data last month that showed that national house prices rose by 0.9% in September, the fastest monthly growth recorded in five years.
The new burst in activity is primarily credited to first-time buyers, who responded to the government's interest relief program and were responsible for half of the third quarter's new mortgages.