The volume and value of new mortgages drawn down in the first three months of this year fell by around a third, compared to the final three months of last year.
According to new data from the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland, 10,908 new home loans worth €2.87 billion were issued by lenders.
The BPFI said the quarter-on-quarter decrease was the result of a slowdown in switching.
The research shows that while re-mortgage and switching volumes and values rose by 22.5% and 25.3% year on year respectively, they fell by 52.1% and 53.7% on the previous quarter.
But while the number and value of new mortgages issued was lower than the previous quarter, it was still up by 10.1% in volume and 14.1% in value on the first three months of 2022.
First-time buyers (FTB) remained the single biggest segment of the market by both volume and value, accounting for just over half.
“First-time buyer and mover purchase drawdown volumes reached their highest Q1 levels since 2007 and 2008, respectively,” said Brian Hayes, Chief Executive of the BPFI.
“Looking forward, FTB approval volumes rose by 15.7% year on year with FTBs accounting for 62% of approval volumes, the highest share since data became available in July 2014.”
BPFI said the continued growth in lending values is being driven by higher housing prices.
“At more than €292,000, the average FTB approval in March was the highest since detailed approval data became available in July 2014,” Mr Hayes said.
“Meanwhile, the average FTB drawdown on new properties and the average mover purchase drawdown on second-hand properties each reached the highest Q1 level at €290,546 and €306,686, respectively, since the data series began in 2005.”
In total, 4,520 mortgages received approval last month, up by a third month-on-month, but down by 1.2% year-on-year.
62% of those loans were for FTBs and 22.5% were for mover purchasers.
The total value of the approvals during the month was €1.3 billion.