Demand for credit from first time buyers is an important component of the demand side in the housing market. It is important to the economy as a whole that creditworthy individuals are able to access credit when they decide to purchase a house for the first time. Central Bank figures are published in Table A.1 Summary of Irish Private Sector Credit and Deposits which is available at http://www.centralbank.ie/polstats/stats/cmab/Pages/releases.aspx . They show that lending to households for house purchase was 1.6 per cent lower on an annual basis at December 2012. Transactions for house purchase declined by €4 million in the month of December 2012.
The IBF/PWC Mortgage Market profile shows new mortgage lending in Q4 2012 at close to €1 billion and that first time buyers are approximately 60% of this lending, by value and volume. The increase in this number over the Q4 figure for 2011 may be partly attributable to the ending of mortgage interest relief for borrowers. However it would appear to show that the banks were able to respond adequately to increased demand when called upon to do so but it is an area of activity in the banking sector that I will be keeping under review.