The Experts say that the Irish housing market  always lags the American market by only 9 months.  So we should now be getting ready for the big uplift in the market here in Ireland.

On a monthly basis, the number of home loan approvals rose between December and January for the first time in 12 years. A total of 52,619 house purchase loans were approved in December, 24 per cent below January approvals.

E.surv says the sudden rise can be attributed to lenders building their mortgage pipelines with a rush of approvals before the Mortgage Market Review comes into effect in April, when tighter affordability checks will be enforced.

Falling unemployment has also boosted demand for homes, with borrowers looking to take advantage of low fixed-rate deals before base rate rises.

E.surv director Richard Sexton says: “January was something of an anomaly in the mortgage market. We normally witness a January slowdown in the mortgage market, in which borrowers choose to pay down Christmas debt rather than invest in property, but this year both banks and buyers have continued full steam ahead.

“Demand is strong from the top to the bottom of the market. First-time buyers are keen to lock into cheap deals and get on the ladder, especially with recent talk around a potential base-rate rise and the revision of forward guidance. And lenders are actively trying to keep volume high, to get business through the door before MMR puts a cap on the volumes they can process.”

via January’s purchase approvals strongest in 7 years | News | Mortgage Strategy.