There was a 23% increase in new mortgage approvals in April compared to the previous month, according to figures from the Irish Bankers Federation.

That represents an 8.7% increase on the same month last year.

A total of 1,433 mortgages to the value of €240m were approved by the main mortgage lenders in April.

Over 90% of the approvals were for house purchases.

The average mortgage approval, for the purposes of house purchase, was €167,418 - up 2.2% on the same period last year.

"Following a more recent slowdown in activity in the first quarter of this year, due to seasonal factors and the expiration of mortgage interest relief, the latest approvals figures provide a firm indication of underlying growth in the market," Felix O'Regan, IBF's Director of Public Affairs said.

Data collection for the IBF Mortgage Approvals Report began in August 2012 covering the period from January 2011.