A sure sign that the housing market is in recovery is the amount of new mortgages signed for in January this year went up by nearly 17%.

According to January figures, the average mortgage taken out – the latest on record as yet – was over a 23 – year period, for a total loan of €112,844 and with an interest rate of 3.14%.

A large percentage of mortgages are now becoming fixed-rate, despite the Euribor – the Eurozone Interest rate – showing no signs of rising in the foreseeable future, and 36.8% of new loans were set up with a fixed level of interest rate last year.

A total of 27,240 mortgage contracts were signed over a 12-month period up to January 2017, or an increase of 16.9% year on year.

And in that month alone, a total of €3.01 billion was borrowed to buy property across the country – which is a rise of 24.5% on January 2016.

The amounts borrowed in January 2017 were 6.4% higher in the same month a year ago, although only 0.1% more than December 2016.

Most of the mortgages taken out were for residential homes which make up 61%of the total, with the rest for plots of land and commercial premises.

In the month of January, nearly 9,000 mortgages on a variable-rate basis came up for renewal or were amended by the original lender at the customer’s request, and the number of homeowners who switched mortgage providers was down nearly 43% year-on-year.

A total of 5,018 contracts in Andalucia were taken out in January 2017 with Catalunya a close second with 4,852.

And at the other end of the scale La Rioja at 181 and Cantabria at 330 registered the fewest.

The greatest increases were seen in Asturias at 37.6% more than a year ago, the Balearic Islands 34.6% and Cantabria 32%.

And the highest amounts of capital lent to buyers was seen in Madrid (774 million), Catalunya (571 million) and Andalucia (453.2 million).

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