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DBRS: Cyprus among European countries where mortgage debt has shrunk as GDP percentage

05/09/2019 11:56

International credit rating agency DBRS has said that Cyprus is among a group of European countries in which the outstanding mortgage debt as a percentage of GDP has shrunk between 2008 and the twelve months ending on June 20, 2019.

“Record low interest rates are set to persist within Europe as the area’s growth appears to be floundering just as quantitative easing and low rates were beginning to reverse,” the agency says in a bulletin.

The central bank’s recent monetary efforts are aimed to stimulate growth, in part through new lending, it adds.

In a chart, it makes a comparison of mortgage debt outstanding to gross domestic product (GDP) in various countries between 2008 and the last 12 months (LTM) ended 31 March 2019.

“For countries below the line, their mortgage debt outstanding as a percentage of GDP shrunk from 2008 to the LTM ended 30 June 2019,” it notes.

“This group includes obvious countries where housing markets were most heavily affected by the financial crisis. Ireland’s mortgage debt to GDP, for example, fell to 23% from 61% over the period, partly because of GDP revisions,” it reads.

“Spain, Portugal and Cyprus all remain below their 2008 level of mortgage debt to GDP,” DBRS adds.

One other notable country to experience a contraction, the bulletin continues, “is Denmark, which has the highest mortgage debt to GDP of any European country at 99%; however, this is down from 2008 levels of 105%.”

The lowest mortgage debt levels are in Italy at 22%, which is above 2008 levels of 16%, the credit rating agency says.