New figures show that Irish mortgage approvals grew at a solid pace in August, continuing the long-running upward trend. 

The figures from the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland show that a total of 3,964 mortgages were approved in August, with a total value of €842m.

This marked an increase in volume terms of 14.7% year on year, while in value terms it represented a 24.5% increase.

Today's figures show that first time buyer mortgage approvals volumes jumped by 25.6% to 2,029 - 51.2% of the total volume. 

Mover purchase approvals were up 4.2% to 1,202, but residential investment letting mortgage approvals decreased by 19% to 145.

Meanwhile, the average home purchase approval in August was €223,057, up 7.4% on the same time last year.

The BPFI said that the average first time buyers approval was up 12.4% to €210,769, while the average mover purchaser approval rose by 3.4% to €24.801.

Commenting on today's figures, Davy economist Conall MacCoille said that over the past 12 months Irish banks have approved €8.8 billion of new mortgage loans. 

But he said there was €6.4 billion of mortgage drawdowns in the 12 months to the second quarter of 2017, compared with €8.4 billion of approvals. 

"The growing number of undrawn loans probably reflects growing competitive pressures within Ireland's mortgage market," Mr Mac Coille said.