The number of new mortgages approved by banks here rose markedly in July, according to the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI).

More than 5,129 new home loans were given the green light during the month, a 14.5% increase compared to June and a 21.5% rise on the same month last year.

The total value of these mortgages was €1.162 billion according the federation, 12.6% higher than a month earlier and up nearly a quarter on July a year ago.

"In fact, since our data series began in 2011, this is the first time the monthly value of house purchase approvals has exceeded €1 billion," said Brian Hayes, CEO of the BPFI.

The strongest growth was recorded among first-time buyers, where approvals were up 35.3% on a year earlier.

Loans to people buying a home for the first time represented just over half of the total volume and €616 million - or 53% - of the total value.

"First-time buyers continue to represent the single largest segment of the market by far, with almost 14,900 approvals valued at almost €3.5 billion in the year to date," said Mr Hayes.

"These approval figures point to a good pipeline of mortgage drawdown activity."

However, the Mortgage Approvals Report also found that the Residential investment letting (RIL) mortgage approval volumes decreased by 21.7% year-on-year to 155, while values decreased by 19.8% year-on-year to €23 million.

In annualised terms, mortgage approval activity increased in volume terms by 1.91% compared with the twelve months ending June 2019 and increased in value terms by 2.18% over the same period.