Press release

EMF Publishes Quarterly Review Q3 2020

Housing and mortgage market experience slight pick-up of their activities during the summer months


Brussels, 1 February 2021 – For immediate release

The European Mortgage Federation (EMF) is delighted to announce the publication of its Quarterly Review of European Mortgage Markets for the third quarter (Q3) of 2020.


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 2020 Quarterly Review



Macroeconomic context:


  • Macroeconomic figures in the third quarter of 2020 show some partial recovery from the significant downturn of the previous quarter due to the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. GDP rebounded by 11.5% and economic sentiment began to recover during the summer months, although not reaching pre-pandemic levels. Despite the relative improvement of the economy, the vast majority of measures put in place by governments earlier in the year were either maintained or extended during the period in order to mitigate the economic and social consequences of the pandemic.


Market developments:


The evolution of the market in Q3 2020 was characterised by the following:


  • Mortgage market dynamics in the third quarter of 2010 were overall more positive than those registered in the second quarter of the year. The relaxation of lockdown measures in the vast majority of countries during this period had a positive effect on mortgage markets. On average total outstanding residential mortgage lending for our European sample grew by 2.9% on a yearly basis. Moreover, although new gross residential lending continued to fall year on year, this grew by 11.8% with respect to Q2 2020, echoing the partial recovery of the economy during the summer months.
  • The evolution of housing supply was heterogenous within the sample depending especially on the degree and subsequent lifting of lock down measures. Similarly, house price dynamics followed different trends. Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has not affected house prices as much as was expected at the start of the crisis, the effects are still noticeable and in some countries in particular. While most countries have only experienced a slowdown in their house price growth, some are recording small contractions on a yearly basis.
  • In Q3 2020 jurisdictions maintained or extended most of the moratoria to support households and businesses as well as income substitution policies.
  • Most jurisdictions recorded very low interest rate levels, providing a very similar picture with respect to the previous quarter. The sample’s unweighted average presents a new all-time low at 2.05%.