The number of mortgage approvals rose by 17% in July, when compared with the same month last year.

New figures from the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland also show that of the 3,970 mortgage approvals during the month, over 2,000 were for first-time buyers.

Mover purchasers accounted for almost one third, or 1,244, of mortgages.

For the first seven months of the year, there were 13,247 first-time-buyer mortgage approvals – a 43% year-on-year increase.

While there was an annual rise in the number of mortgage approvals in July, there was a monthly decrease of 8% from the June figure.

The total value of mortgage approvals during the month was €853m, which is 23.3% higher when compared with July 2016.

According to the BPFI, re-mortgage/switching mortgage approvals grew in the year to July, with such activity accounting for 7.5% of the value and 8% of the volume of mortgages.

Commenting on the figures, Chief Economist of Investment Banking with Goodbody Dermot O’Leary said: "Mortgage approvals continued to grow at a robust pace in July, albeit at a slower clip than in recent months.

"A key take-away from this morning’s BPFI data is that the number of approvals for first-time buyers continues to exceed the addition to the housing stock, thus ongoing price inflation is inevitable as this money chases a limited amount of properties."