The mortgage market is not only of vital importance to the millions of European families who currently are repaying their mortgages but also to the many potential first times buyers who wish to enter the European property market. However, irresponsible lending and borrowing practices have contributed to the current financial and economic crisis. New legislation currently making its way through the European Parliament aims to make the mortgage market more stable.
The EU's mortgage market represents a significant part of its economy. In 2009 residential mortgage lending amounted to more than €6 trillion, which is equivalent to 52% of the EU's gross domestic product. Household debts, of which mortgage debt is the largest component, accounted for some 70% of euro area households’ total financial liabilities at the end of 2008. The European Commission has launched a proposal on mortgages, which the Parliament is currently scrutinising. Spanish socialist Antolín Sánchez Presedo, who is responsible for steering the legislation through Parliament suggests improving consumer protection and recommends introducing new European standards in order to create a more stable and flexible mortgage market in his report.
On this page you will be find regular updates on the proposed EU directive on mortgages, including an interview with Mr Sánchez Presedo on the Parliament's position.