New figures from the Irish Banking Federation show that the number of mortgage approvals fell by 7.9% in November compared to the same time last year.

They declined by 1.4% in the month.

A total of 1,852 mortgage approvals were granted last month, of which 1,716 were for house purchases, the IBF said.

The figures show that about €334m in mortgage was approved last month, down by 3.5% on the same time last year. Of this 95% was for house purchases.

The average mortgage approval value in November was €180,367, an increase of 4.7% on the same time last year. The IBF said the average mortgage for house purchase rose by 5.1% year on year to €186,078.

For the year to date, a total of 15,601 mortgages have been approved, up 5.8% on the same time last year.

"The figures for November confirm the monthly volatility that is a pattern of mortgage market activity at various times over the year," commented the IBF's chief executive Noel Brett.  

"More significantly, activity for the year as a whole to date continues to show improvement over the previous year with 15,601 mortgages approved so far. The indications are that this growth trend will be evident in the end of year figures," he added.