The number of bank customers who switched their mortgages rose by 33% in November on a year on year basis, according to figures published by the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland.

Switching approvals rose by 19.7% in value terms.

Mortgage switchers stand out in terms of year-on-year growth, albeit from a relatively low base, said Felix O'Regan, Director Public Affairs with the BPFI.

These customers switched their mortgages ahead of changes to the Central Bank's Consumer Protection Code which came into effect this week. Irish banks are now required to give mortgage customers more information about their loan in order to help them save money by moving to a better rate or switching provider.

A total of 4,102 mortgages were approved in November 2018. More than  1,900 were for first-time buyers while mover purchasers accounted for over 1,100.

The number of mortgages approved rose by 4.5% year-on-year and fell by 3.8% month-on-month.

Mortgages approved in November 2018 were valued at €896 million. The value of mortgage approvals rose by 3.3% year-on-year and fell by 3.6%  month-on-month.

"While the First Time Buyer segment of the market shows a reduction in activity in November compared to the previous month, the picture is one of growth compared with the same period last year," said Mr O'Regan. "In fact, FTBs and mortgage switchers stand out in terms of year-on-year growth, with the former recording 4.7% in volume and 8.4% in value; while switching shows a 33.3% increase in volume - albeit from a relatively low base.  Overall the latest figures continue to confirm the predominance of First Time Buyers in the mortgage market where they account for close to half of all approval activity."