The European mortgage stock reaches record-high levels amid a fast changing macroeconomic and financial environment
Brussels, 27 April 2022 – For immediate release
The European Mortgage Federation (EMF) is delighted to announce the publication of its Quarterly Review of European Mortgage Markets for the fourth quarter of 2021.
Produced in cooperation with the Federation’s national experts, the Quarterly Review provides the latest short-term developments in mortgage and housing markets across the EU.
The publication highlights expert analytical commentary together with data tables and charts on the following key indicators:
- Total outstanding residential mortgage lending;
- Gross and net residential mortgage lending;
- Regulation & Government intervention;
- Nominal house price indices; and
- Mortgage interest rates;
Key highlights for Q3 2021 Quarterly Review
- The European economy continued to grow in Q4 2021, as GDP levels in the euro area increased by a further 4.6% (compared to Q4 2020) and in the broader EU27 by a 4.8% year-on-year. Despite the overall improvement of the economic situation, inflation took centre stage in late 2021. By end December 2021, euro area inflation stood at 5.0% (after a deflationary period in late 2020), while EU27 consumer prices registered an increase of 5.3%. Rapidly increasing energy prices are in great part driving the new price cycle, although other HICP components, namely services, food products and certain manufactured goods, also had an impact on the overall price levels.
- As of Q4 2021, the combined mortgage stock of the EMF Quarterly Review country sample -which for the first time includes Greece – reached the EUR 8 tn threshold, a record high. The volume of outstanding mortgage loans in Europe grew by 6.4% compared to Q3 2020, down from a 6.8% yearly growth rate in Q3 2021. Gross residential lending, in turn, reached a total volume of EUR 374 bn, marking a 2% year-on-year expansion. The latter would indicate a further deceleration of gross lending activities across Europe.
- Housing supply in Q4 2021 tended to increase once more, yet the situation varies significantly between jurisdictions. In terms of house prices, the average, unweighted EMF HPI expanded notably in this quarter, yet this indicator is showing signs of deceleration if compared with previous periods. The average HPI growth rate for 2021 was around 9.1%. Construction costs seem to be increasing in some countries and real estate construction is not as vibrant, as per recent reports.
- Concerning the issue of regulation and government actions, public policies in Q4 2021 focused on improving macroprudential frameworks, particularly with regard to borrower indebtedness. Other policies addressed a variety of issues, such as the energy efficiency of buildings or lending to first-time buyers.
- Lastly, the Q4 2021 unweighted average interest rate of the EMF sample was 2.01%, 11 bps higher than Q3 2021’s rate. It is the first mortgage interest rate increase since Q4 2018. Mortgage rate developments have nonetheless been heterogeneous across EMF jurisdictions.
Daniele Westig José Díaz
Economic Adviser Policy Adviser
Tel: +32 2 285 40 40 Tel: +32 2 285 40 30