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Mortgages in Europe - statistics & facts

In the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, European countries introduced various measures to tackle the economic impact of the pandemic. One of the areas of action concerned the mortgage market and included mortgage breaks for borrowers, easing capital and liquidity requirements for lenders, and state guarantees for certain loans. This allowed mortgage lenders to keep mortgage rates at record lows: In Finland, Denmark, and Portugal, the average mortgage rate was less than one percent as of the third quarter of 2020. As a result, the mortgage market quickly bounced back with the gradual easing of national lockdowns in the second half of the year.

Which are the largest European mortgage markets?

Mortgage markets in different countries follow different dynamics depending on the state of the housing market and the overall socio-economic situation. In some countries, such as Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden paying out a mortgage loan is very common and over 50 percent of the population occupy a home with an outstanding mortgage. In Central and Eastern Europe, on the other hand, the mortgage market is less developed, and most people have no outstanding loan. In terms of the value of mortgages outstanding or new mortgage lending, the largest European markets are the United Kingdom (UK), Germany, and France. As of the third quarter of 2020, the mortgage market in the UK measured roughly 1.62 trillion euros in mortgages outstanding and 66.8 billion euros in new lending. Germany ranked second in terms of mortgages outstanding (1.6 trillion euros) but in 2020 overtook the UK in new mortgage lending, reaching close to 70 billion euros.

What drives the European mortgage market?

In recent years, house prices across Europe have been rising, reflecting the improving economic conditions, tight supply, and high demand. In Germany, for instance, house prices rose by nearly 11 percent between the third quarter of 2019 and 2020. Similar trend was observed in the Netherlands, France, Italy, and many other European countries. Naturally, as house prices grow, so does the need for finance. Furthermore, though the coronavirus crisis has had a devastating effect on the economy and many people’s livelihood, it also increased savings. In the United Kingdom, over nine percent of people shared that they would use the accumulated savings for a house down payment.

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 28 most important statistics relating to "Mortgages in Europe".

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