Mortgage lending reaches record high
Portugal’s banks and credit institutions lent a massive €1.3Bn for mortgages in March in what was the highest amount of credit lent since January 2008.
According to figures from the Bank of Portugal, there was an increase in home loans by €383 million compared to February in which the banks lent €999 million to the Portuguese to buy a home.
It was, states the BoP, the most amount of money lent for mortgages since January 2008 when home credit had reached €1.5Bn.
By comparison, to March 2020, €430 million more was lent in new mortgage contracts in March 2021. Back in 2020 institutions lent out €952 million.
All told, in the first quarter of the year the Portuguese obtained a total of €3.349Bn from banks, an amount that exceeded the €2.848Bn for the acquisition of homes in the like-for-like period. It was a difference in the order of €501 million from one year to the other.
Looking at the average interest rate applied for new mortgages, the latest data from the Bank of Portugal shows that this increase was in the order of eight base points, putting an end to a seven month chain of consecutive and historic minimum rates,” states the bank in a communiqué.
The rate in March was 0.84% for new housing credit, thereby matching the amount recorded in November 2020.