Growth in mortgage lending dropped below 10% for the first time in more than 20 years in July, according to figures from the Central Bank.

The bank said the annual rate of growth fell to 9.6%, the lowest since the end of 1987. The amount of mortgage lending increased by €964m in the month. The Central Bank said this was in stark contrast to the €2.4 billion increase in the same month two years ago.

Total lending in the economy grew at an annual rate of 13.3% in July, a six-year low. Non-mortgage credit grew by 18.8% over the year, down from 20.2% in June.

The Central Bank figures also show that the level of debt outstanding on credit cards fell to below €3 billion.