New figures on the housing market show an increase in mortgage activity during the second quarter of the year compared with the previous quarter.

The mortgage market profile from the Irish Banking Federation and PricewaterhouseCoopers shows that 12,686 new mortgages, with a value of around €2.2 billion, were issued in the three-month period from April to June.

Although a 15.4% improvement on the first three months of 2009, the figures are down 64% on the same time last year. The IBF says this reflects the seasonal pattern of stronger mortgage lending in the second quarter of the year.

Today's figures reveal that first-time buyers now account for one in four of all new mortgages issued. With a now 25% share of the mortgage market by volume, this sector has consistently increased market share over each of the last six quarters.

First-time buyers and those trading up together now make up 60% of the total market by value.

The figures also show that the residential investment letting market continues to decline and is the only segment not to record a quarter on quarter increase.

'While the overall level of mortgage activity continues to reflect the very challenging economic environment, it is reassuring to see that those focused principally on home purchase - first time buyers and mover purchasers - now have a record share of the total market ,' commented IBF CEO Pat Farrell.