The average number of mortgage approvals fell by 10.2% to 2,133 between November and January, according to latest data from the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland.

Of the approvals, 50% were for first-time buyers, while mover purchasers accounted for 29.5% of the average figure.

Both re-mortgage and top-up mortgage approvals grew year-on-year, with re-mortgage (or switching) volumes more than doubling.

BPFI figures also indicate that the number of mortgages approved fell by 14.7% year-on-year and by 10.2% on a monthly basis.

Meanwhile, the average value of mortgages approved per month in the three months ending January 2016 was €406m – of which €190m was accounted for by first-time buyers and €151m by mover purchasers.

The value of mortgage approvals fell by 13.6% year-on-year and by 9.4% month-on-month

Meanwhile, figures from the Central Statistics Office show that house prices nationwide rose by 7.6% in the year to January. 

On a monthly basis, residential prices decreased by 0.5% in the month of January, compared to an increase of 0.5% in December. 

Today's figures show that residential property prices in Dublin fell by 1.2% in January - the third monthly fall in a row. Prices were 3.4% higher than a year ago. 

On a monthly basis, Dublin house prices eased by 1.1% while they were 3.2% higher compared to the same time last year. Dublin apartment prices rose by 4.8% in January compared to the same month in 2015.

The price of homes in the rest of the country - excluding Dublin - rose by 0.1% in January compared with a fall of 0.9% in January last year. 

Prices stood 11.4% higher in January of this year compared to the same month last year, the CSO added. 

Property prices across Ireland are on average 33.8% below their 2007 peak, but restrictions on mortgage lending introduced by the Central Bank a year ago has slowed down the recovery in prices.

Commenting on today's figures, Investec economist Philip O'Sullivan said he continues to expect to see prices beginning to move higher once the impact of the Central Bank mortgage lending rules - introduced in February 2015 - washes out of the data.