Mortgage lending reaches lowest level in almost two decades

Mortgage lending in Belgium fell sharply in the third quarter, to its lowest level for a third quarter in almost 20 years, statistics from the Professional Credit Association showed on Monday.

Some 43,500 mortgages were granted in the third quarter, 29 per cent fewer than a year earlier. They totalled just over 7.2 billion euros, excluding refinancing of existing loans, 31 per cent lower than during the third quarter of 2022.

"Rising interest rates and low consumer confidence, combined with house prices, continue to dampen demand, resulting in a decline in the number of loans granted," said Ivo Van Bulck, secretary general of the Professional Credit Association, in a press release.

"Rising interest rates and low consumer confidence, combined with house prices, continue to dampen demand"

Loans for the construction of a house saw the sharpest decline, dropping around 50 per cent compared to the third quarter of 2022. There were also 23 per cent fewer loans for house purchases. Only 1,500 refinancings happened compared to 10,000 two years earlier.

The number of mortgage applications reached its lowest level since 2010 in the third quarter. Just over 63,500 applications were submitted for a total of 11.5 billion euros.



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