Fewer new mortgages granted for first time in five years, but total bill is up

The number of mortgage agreements provided by Dutch banks and other institutions fell for the first time in five years in the first quarter of 2017 according to a new report by IG&H Consultants.

Despite the drop in the number of mortgages, the average value of a mortgage topped €300,000 in the first quarter of this year, a 7% gain and the highest level ever, IH&G said.

Fewer than 80,000 mortgages were issued in the first three months of this year, representing a 3% decline over the year-earlier period, the  consultancy said on Wednesday.

The sharpest decline was seen in the starters market where there were 11% fewer mortgages than a year earlier, IH&G said.

As prices rise, the housing market is being closed off to first-time buyers which formed the largest group of people signing up for mortgages four years ago. Starters now account for less than a quarter of all mortgages.

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