Almost €14.1 billion worth of mortgages were drawn down last year, the highest since 2008.

New figures from Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) show that 52,634 mortgages were drawn down throughout 2022.

When compared to the previous year, drawdown volumes rose by 21%, while values rose by over 34%.

The data shows that first time buyers (FTB) continue to drive growth in the market, with the volume of FTB drawdowns at their highest level since 2007.

According to BPFI, almost 108,000 FTB loans have been drawn down in the past five years.

On a quarterly basis, today's figures show that a total of 15,888 new mortgages were drawn down in the final quarter of last year, worth over €4.3 billion.

This represents an increase of 19.5% in volume and 31.5% in value on the same three month period in 2021.

When compared to third quarter of 2022, draw downs in the fourth quarter were up 7% in volume and 7.3% in value.

FTBs made up the largest segment by volume and value between October and December 2022.

Today's figures also show that 58,276 mortgages to the value of €15.8 billion were approved in 2022.

"Our latest mortgage data which provides an annual picture for 2022, shows significant numbers of both drawdowns and approvals and a particularly strong year for First Time Buyers," said Brian Hayes, the chief executive of BPFI.

"Looking to the year ahead, we expect housing and mortgage demand to remain strong despite the challenging economic environment," he added.

The data from BPFI shows that 3,635 mortgages were approved in December alone last year, of which 1,789 or over 49% were for FTBs, while mover purchasers accounted for 798 or 22%.

The number of mortgages approved in December fell by 33.1% month-on-month, and by 5.7% year-on-year.

Mortgages approved last December were valued at €996 million, down 33.5% month-on-month and 1.5% year-on-year.