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Mar 24 2023, 07:25 GMT
Mortgage approvals of €945m in February are down 8% on the year, but mainly due to the surge in refinancing activity in 2022 falling away. Nonetheless, house purchase approvals of €800m were down 1.6% and volumes by 8% – a tentative sign that the uncertain economic environment, ECB rate hikes and stretched valuations may be weighing on demand. That said, the average approval jumped to €291,500 in February, up 6.7% on 2022, perhaps the first sign the loosening of Central Bank lending rules is starting to add leverage to the housing and mortgage market.