Bloomberg News

Irish New Mortgage Lending Falls 7.5% in First Quarter of 2007

June 06, 2007

Irish new mortgage lending fell in the first quarter of 2007 compared with a year earlier, as rising borrowing costs curbed demand in the euro region's fastest- growing economy.

The amount of new loans to homebuyers was 7.8 billion euros ($10.5 billion), falling 7.5 percent from the same quarter last year, the Dublin-based Irish Banking Federation said today in a report.

The pace of borrowing in Ireland is easing as seven interest-rate increases by the European Central Bank since late 2005 crimp demand for property. Irish house prices, which have quadrupled during the last decade, fell in April for a second month and homebuilding declined the most in more than five years.

``The survey is consistent with all other housing and mortgage market indicators in showing a slowdown in activity,'' banking federation Chief Executive Officer Pat Farrell said in the report.

The figures don't include data on the market shares of individual lenders. The federation represents more than 60 domestic banks.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dara Doyle in Dublin at ddoyle1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Riad Hamade at rhamade@bloomberg.net


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