Just over 6,000 mortgages to a value of €999m were issued over the final quarter of last year.

New figures from the Irish Banking Federation show mortgage lending was up 56% in value terms and almost 57% in terms of the volume of loans issued compared to the same quarter in 2011.

The level of mortgage lending is still at its lowest level in over three decades but the latest IBF figures show substantial year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter growth.

First time buyers now represent three out of every five new mortgage loans.

Home owners moving to a new property represent just over one in four loans.

Lending levels are still dramatically below those seen at the peak of the market. Over the last three months of 2007 37,700 home loans to a value of €8.3 billion were advanced to borrowers.