Just over 5,500 mortgages were approved in August, up 5.5% on the previous month and 21.3% compared with the same period last year.

New figures from Banking and Payments Federation Ireland show that almost 45% of the mortgages approved were for first-time buyers, while just over 20% were for mover purchasers.

In total, the mortgages approved last month were valued at €1.5 billion of which FTBs accounted for €673 million and mover purchasers for €355 million.

The data reveals that the value of mortgage approvals increased by 4.4% compared to July, and by almost 31% year-on-year.

Switching activity continues to drive growth in the market, with non-purchase mortgage activity, which includes switching and top-ups, up by over 126% in volume terms year-on-year to 1,864.

Brian Hayes, Chief Executive of BPFI said the annualised figures give a better overall picture of the mortgage market.

"There were almost 57,000 mortgages approved in the twelve months ending August 2022, valued at €15.1 billion," he said.

"This was the first time since the data series began that the value of mortgage approvals had exceeded €15 billion on an annualised basis," he added.

The figures also show that FTB approvals reached their highest value since the data series began at almost €7.7 billion, while the value of non-purchase mortgage approvals more than doubled since the twelve months ending August 2019 to about €3.4 billion.

In Tuesday's Budget, Minister for Finance Pascal Donohoe announced that the Help-to-Buy scheme for first-time buyers would continue until the end of 2024.

Mr Hayes said they welcome the move, "given its positive effect in supporting demand for FTB homes and in encouraging builders to supply those homes."