The number of mortgages approved in January fell by 16% compared to the previous month, according to figures published by the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland.
A total of 3,355 mortgages were approved last month, a decline on the December figure, but a 2.8% increase on the same period last year.
Breakdown of approvals
Approvals for first time buyers were down 20% compared to the previous month, but up 7.5% compared to the same month last year.
Despite this, the figures show that first-time buyers made up over half of the approvals with 1,709 mortgages approved for this group.
Mover purchasers accounted for just over 27%, with 911 mortgages approved.
Value of approvals
Mortgages approved last month were valued at €823 million, of which FTBs accounted for €409 million and mover purchasers for €271 million.
Overall, the value of mortgage approvals fell by 15.9% compared to the previous month, but rose 10.7% on the same time the previous year.
Brian Hayes, Chief Executive of BPFI highlighted the year-on-year growth in both approval volumes and value.
"This points to a solid pipeline for drawdown activity as we move in to 2021.
"It's also interesting to note the 10% year-on-year increase in both the volume and value in mortgage switching which demonstrates that lenders are continuing to support customers through the switching process.
"Our latest mortgage approvals data shows mortgage approval activity performed well in January particularly when we take into account that level 5 restrictions were in place throughout the month," he said.
Annualised mortgage approvals
The latest BPFI figures show there were 43,241 mortgage approvals in the twelve months ending January 2021, valued at €10,420 million.
Annualised mortgage approval activity to end-January 2021 increased in volume terms by 0.21% compared with the twelve months ending December 2020 and increased in value terms by 0.77% over the same period.
Annualised purchase mortgage approval volumes rose by 0.29% compared with the prior period to 35,122 in the twelve month period, while the annualised value of purchase mortgage approvals was €8,768 million, up by 0.87%.