Mortgage lending grows in Europe
The volume of mortgage loans outstanding in the European Union and Norway continued to increase in most European countries although at a slower pace compared to previous years. At the end of 2001, the total amount of outstanding mortgage loans totalled around 3.9 trillion EUR. This represents approximately 40% of GDP. Declining mortgage interest rates fuelled growth, which in turn sustained demand for housing despite house price increases in most European countries.
Mortgage lending has grown most spectacularly in the UK and Greece; it also grew significantly in Ireland, Luxembourg, Italy and Spain.