Press release

European Mortgage Federation Publishes Quarterly Review – Q4 2023

17 April 2024

First Signs of Growing Momentum in Europe’s Housing and Mortgage Markets


The European Mortgage Federation (EMF) is delighted to announce the publication of its Quarterly Review of European Mortgage Markets for the fourth quarter of 2023.


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 and government intervention;
  • Nominal house price indices; and
  • Mortgage interest rates.


Key highlights from the Q4 2023 Quarterly Review


Macroeconomic context:


  • According to Eurostat, in the fourth quarter of 2023, seasonally adjusted GDP remained stable in both the Euro area and the EU. In the third quarter it decreased by 0.1% in the Euro area and remained stable in the entire EU. Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP increased by 0.1% in the Euro area and by 0.2% in the EU, after +0.1% in both zones in the previous quarter. For 2023 as a whole, GDP increased by 0.4% in both the Euro area and the EU, after +3.4% in both in 2022.
  • Euro area annual inflation is expected to be 2.6% in the year to February 2024, down from 2.8% in January according to a flash estimate from Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU. Looking at the main components: food, alcohol & tobacco are expected to record the highest increase (4.0%, compared with 5.6% in January), followed by services (3.9%, from 4.0%), non-energy industrial goods (1.6%, compared with 2.0%) and energy (-3.7%, compared with -6.1%).
  • Total employment increased by 0.3% in both the Euro area and the EU in Q4. In Q3 it increased by 0.2% in both zones. Compared with previous year, employment increased by 1.3% in the Euro area and by 1.2% in the EU ( after +1.3% in the euro area and +1.2% in the EU in the year to Q3).
  • Continued high interest rates, economic uncertainty, global geopolitical risks and monetary policy uncertainty, continue to weigh on mortgage origination volumes. Mortgage interest rates have risen, with notable differences between the Euro area and other regions. The volume of outstanding mortgages has plateaued in recent quarters, experiencing a modest uptick of approximately 1% from the previous year.


Market developments:


  • The total mortgage stock of the EMF country sample increased slightly to EUR 8.33 tn by the end of the fourth quarter. The quarterly increase remained at  % y-o-y in Q4. Each quarter in 2023 the mortgage stock grew by under 2% y-o-y (1.5% Q1, 1.5% Q2, 1.4% Q3).
  • Gross residential mortgage lending decreased by 17.3% y-o-y. However, looking at quarterly figures, Q4 was the first quarter with a positive growth rate, at 3.6%. Total gross lending was EUR 263 billion in Q4, compared to EUR 254 billion in Q3, the lowest since the pandemic.
  • There are no clear trends or patterns in house prices across the countries considered. Additionally, the similar patterns in northern Europe, which were evident in previous quarters, have begun to erode. The simple average of house price index values for the EMF country sample increased slightly in Q4 to 163.9 (from 161.8 in Q3, base year 2015). After a gradual increase in the average value since the global financial crisis, it decreased slightly in Q1 2023 but started to increase again since Q2.
  • Inflation was a significant concern for governments and authorities within the EMF country sample. This led to increased consumer prices and a depletion of households’ savings. Consequently, government efforts were mainly focused on addressing housing and mortgage affordability. Additionally, measures were implemented to support supply, which was under strain from increased input prices. Some jurisdictions have however expressed concerns about actions that could jeopardise monetary policy measures.
  • The average, unweighted EMF mortgage interest for Q4 and Q3 2023 was 4.95%, 10 bps higher than Q2 (4.85%). It is the highest average rate since the start of the data in Q1 2009. Moreover, Q3 2023 marks the eighth consecutive increase.




Eric Hüllen         

Research & Data Adviser

Tel: +32 472 09 30 99