In the first three months of 2022, banks granted nearly 68,000 mortgages to buy, build or renovate a home. The Credit Professionals Association reported Thursday that the total amount – more than 11 billion euros – is a record for the first quarter. But the peak may have been reached gradually, as the number of new applications is declining.
In the January-March period, 67,952 new mortgage loans were granted (excluding refinancing), an increase of 4.4 percent over the first quarter of 2021. The total amount of all these loans, just over 11 billion euros, was more than 17 percent higher.
The fact that the amount increases more than the number means that the average amount per home loan is increasing. Anyone who takes out a home loan is now borrowing an average of 196 thousand euros. That’s nearly a quarter more in three years. The average amount allocated to build a house of the same size since 2019 has risen to 210 thousand euros. The average amount of credit for the purchase and renovation of a home is now €218,000, which is 12 percent more than it was three years ago. More than nine out of ten borrowers choose a fixed rate of interest.
2022 also started with a strong first trimester, says Ivo van Polk, general secretary of the Credit Professionals Association, in a press release. “Never has this much mortgage credit been provided in the first trimester of pregnancy.”
But there appears to be a turning point. “We have observed a decline in credit applications for several months now. This may indicate stability or decline in the future. Nearly 108,000 credit applications were submitted in the first quarter for a total amount of 19 billion euros. This represents a decrease of 8.5 and 4 percent, respectively, over the previous year.
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