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Economic Letter: New Mortgage Lending Activity in a Comparative Context

16 May 2018 Press Release

Houses in a Row

An Economic Letter by Enda Keenan and Martin O’Brien examines the ratio of new mortgage lending to household disposable income for the purpose of monitoring cyclical systemic risk in the residential real estate lending market in Ireland.

The key findings are:

  • As at end-2017, the ratio of new mortgage lending to household disposable income (NMDI) stood at 6.7%, which was broadly consistent with key structural factors in the Irish economy such as long-term real interest rates and demographics.
  • If annual growth in new mortgage lending continued through 2018 at the average rate of increase seen over the previous five years (c.25%) and household disposable income rose in-line with the latest Central Bank forecasts (3.5%), then the NMDI ratio would be approximately 8% by end-2018.
  • As a result, near-term developments in the level of new mortgage lending warrant careful monitoring so that higher levels of activity are not accompanied by the emergence of excessive cyclical systemic risk.

The views presented in Economic Letters are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Central Bank of Ireland.

Library of Economic Letters

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