Robust housing supply and mortgage demand set to support housing market in 2023 but risks remain due to cost pressures – BPFI Housing Market Monitor Q4 2022
- Pipeline indicates some 27,000 completions in 2023
- Applications for Help to Buy scheme 36% higher in January 2023 than previous year
Tuesday 14th March 2023 – The latest Housing Market Monitor Q4 2022 published today by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) shows that while robust housing supply and mortgage demand will support the housing market in 2023, downside risks remain to both supply of homes and demand for mortgages due to cost pressures associated with building costs and interest rate increases.
Supply pipeline indicates some 27,000 house completions in 2023
Outlining the key findings in today’s Monitor, Brian Hayes, Chief Executive, BPFI said: “Housing supply recovered significantly in 2022 with close to 30,000 house completions during the year, an increase of 45% from 2021 and 41% from 2019, prior to the pandemic. Looking ahead, we anticipate a steady supply of housing over the course of the year with commencement figures from last year indicating that we can expect to see nearly 27,000 housing units delivered this year, which is similar to 2019 levels before Covid. Commencements figures for January 2023 are also encouraging, with 2,108 housing units started during the month, the highest level observed in any January period since 2008.”
First-time buyer mortgage demand remains very strong with 36% increase in Help-to-Buy applications
“The significant recovery in the housing supply in 2022 is also reflected in the mortgage market activity we have seen. With 52,634 mortgage drawdowns valued at €14.1 billion in 2022, this was the highest level of drawdowns since 2008. There was a significant increase in switching activity in 2022 which accounted for nearly 28% of all drawdowns compared to 14% in 2021 in volume terms. Looking at mortgage approvals activity, which is a useful as a forward-looking indicator, our most recent approvals figures for January 2023 show that approvals were valued at €1 billion, of which first-time buyers (FTBs) accounted for over 51%. While the volume of non-purchase mortgages (switching and top-ups) increased by 2.1%, this represents a significant slowdown from previous periods.”
“Further underlining the strong demand, we are seeing from the FTB sector of the market, the latest data on the Help to Buy (HTB) scheme, which supports FTBs buying or building new homes, shows that in January 2023 alone there were more than 7,000 applications to the scheme. This is 36% higher than the year previous, the most observed in any January since the launch of the scheme, and larger than the total number of claims in the whole of 2022 (6,922).”
Robust housing and mortgage activity in 2023 may be tempered by building cost pressures and interest rate increases in short to medium term
Mr Hayes concluded: “Following a strong year in terms of housing and mortgage market activity in 2022, we anticipate robust levels of activity to continue in 2023, however this is not without some downside risks. In terms of demand for mortgages, we expect the growth in non-purchase mortgages (switching and top-ups) to continue to slow and the first-time buyer segment to drive activity, especially for new builds, with the continuation of support measures like the Help-to-buy scheme and the First Home Scheme, as well as the revised loan-to-income ratios under the Central Bank’s mortgage lending rules. And while the slowdown in residential property price inflation should help to alleviate affordability concerns somewhat, especially for first-time buyers, building cost pressures and further ECB rate increases may pose some risk to the housing supply outlook and mortgage demand in the short to medium term.”
Note: Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) represents the banking, payments and fintech sector in Ireland. Together with its affiliates, the Federation of International Banks in Ireland, and the Fintech & Payments Association of Ireland, BPFI has over 125 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.