Mortgage approvals fell in January when compared to the previous month, but were higher year-on-year, according to data from the Banking Payments Federation of Ireland.
There were 3,621 mortgages approved last month, down 6.1% on December but 7.9% higher than in January 2021.
The total value of the month’s approvals stood at €932m, which was 7.8% lower on the December figure but 13.2% higher than a year ago.
Of the mortgages approved in January, more than half (1,868) were to first time buyers. That represents a 9.3% increase year-on-year.
Approvals to first time buyers were worth a combined €479m, which is 17% higher than the figure a year ago.
It means that the average first time buyer received approval to the value of approximately €256,424 in January, an increase of 7.14% on the average a year before.
There were 802 approvals granted to movers in January, which is down 10% in the month and 12% in the year.
Those approvals were worth a combined €243m, which is 11.2% lower on December and 10.2% lower on January 2021.
However the average mortgage approved to movers still rose slightly in the year, increasing by 1.85% to €302,992.
There was a 21.1% annual increase in buy-to-let mortgages, with 92 approved in the month. The value of such loans jumped by 43.2%, albeit from a low base.
Meanwhile the number of people re-mortgaging or switching providers rose by 37.3% to 673 in January, with the values of these loans up 48.1% to €176m.
“Our data shows this was the highest January volume or value for FTBs since the data series began in 2011,” said Ali Uğur, chief economist and head of prudential regulation at BPFI.
“This points to a solid pipeline for drawdown activity as we look to the year ahead,” he said.
“The report also shows an increasing trend in the volume of switching, a trend that has been continuing for some time which is perhaps a reflection of competition in the market where customers are availing of different options available to them,” he added.