Press release

EMF Publishes Quarterly Review Q4 2019

20 May 2020

European housing and mortgage markets close 2019 with aggregate stable figures


Brussels, 20 May 2020 – For immediate release


The European Mortgage Federation (EMF) is pleased to announce the publication of its Quarterly Review of European Mortgage Markets for the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2019.


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 from the Q4 2019 Quarterly Review


General Reminder:


The Quarterly Review provides a retrospective overview of the mortgage and housing market in Q4 2019 and therefore does not take into account the profound structural effects which are resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.


Macroeconomic context:


  • 2019 closed with virtually no GDP growth after three quarters of more resilient figures, due to a high level of uncertainty linked to trade policy at the global level. Labour market continued to be resilient and inflation rates showed a slight pick-up towards the end of the year.


Market developments:


The evolution of the market in Q4 2019 was characterised by:


  • The mortgage market closed the year with a significant growth rate of 4.7% of outstanding mortgage loans y-o-y, reaching EUR 7.25 tn. New loans reached EUR 350 bn in Q4 2019, marking the highest increase since 2015.
  • As an aggregate general trend, a plateauing of housing supply seems to be taking place in several countries of the sample, with decreasing housing permits issued, but rising housing completions with respect to end 2018.
  • Like for housing supply, house price dynamics also continued to grow at a decreasing pace with respect to the previous quarters. In Q4 2019 the y-o-y growth was around 4.4% compared to 5.1% in Q4 2018, while the q-o-q growth amounted to less than 0.5% with respect to the 1.4% recorded in Q3 2019.
  • During the reference quarter several countries introduced, updated or phased-out different measures aimed either at supporting targeted population segments on the retail side or at strengthening the financial system on the funding side.
  • Most jurisdictions recorded very low interest rate levels over the last quarters, thus leaving little space for further reductions. The unweighted average for the sample reached 2.18% marking a new all-time low.


The full Quarterly Review Q4 2019 can be accessed here.