The number of mortgage approvals in March fell by 8% compared to the same time last year, the latest figures from Banking and Payments Federation Ireland shows. 

A total of 3,374 mortgage approvals were granted in the month with a combined value of €763 million.

That was down 2.9% on the value of approvals in March of last year.

Bad weather and a very strong first quarter last year are likely explanations for the decline in the March figures.

The figures also show that 50.5% the mortgage approvals in March were for first-time buyers, while mover purchasers accounted for 26.7%.

They also revealed that re-mortgage/switching approvals rose on a year-on-year basis - by 54.9% in value and by 50.5% in volume terms.