Figures released by Danske Bank have revealed a dramatic 43% increase in the level of mortgages approved in the Lurgan area during 2014.
Danske Bank approved over £6 million worth of mortgage funds to customers seeking to build, move home, or buy for the first time - including customers switching their mortgage from another financial institution.
The news follows recent studies by the Council of Mortgage Lenders, which indicated that there were 25% more loans to first time buyers in Northern Ireland last year, with 38% more home mover loans.
According to Wendy Murphy, Branch Manager at Danske Bank, Lurgan, this positive trend is likely to continue in 2015:
“The industrywide figures show an increase in both first time buyers and home movers, and this is great news for the Northern Ireland economy. The number of first time buyers is at its highest level since 2006, driven by the low interest rate environment; houses being good value for money, and general levels of affordability - particularly in the first time buyer bracket. All of these conditions are conductive to an overall improving housing market, which is why home mover activity has also increased.
“The figures reflect what we are seeing, ourselves, at Danske Bank. Throughout Northern Ireland, we approved over £387 million in mortgage lending in 2014, and saw a 44% increase in the value of new mortgages provided, compared to the year before.
“The time and place Northern Ireland consumers choose to discuss their mortgage requirements have also been changing. Today, many of the mortgage appointments at Danske Bank take place via an online meeting or over the phone, in evenings, and over weekends. These are proving to be really convenient options.”