The number of mortgages approved last month increased by 2.7% compared to a month earlier.
But versus the same month in 2022, volumes were down 20%, as switching activity fell off, new data from Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) shows.
A total of 4,273 mortgages were approved during the month, with first time buyers accounting for almost 63% and mover purchasers 21.7%.
The total value of the loans approved in October was €1.2 billion – of which FTBs accounted for €793 million and mover purchasers €291 million.
But despite a 2.7% increase month on month, the total value of the mortgages approved was 16.9% lower than in October of last year.
It means the number of mortgage approvals for first time buyers rose to a record level of 30,508 in the year to the end of October, while the value of those approvals rose to more than €8.7 billion.
“While we continue to see an overall slowdown in mortgage activity year on year in both volume and value terms – a decrease of 20.1% and 16.9% respectively mainly driven by lower switching levels – FTBs continue to defy the overall trend with FTB volumes and values having grown in nine out of the ten months of 2023 (with the exception of February),” said Brian Hayes, BPFI chief executive.
“The average FTB mortgage value also reached a new high of €295,033, some €27,000 more than in October 2022 (€268,012), reflecting higher housing prices.”
Mr Hayes added that the pipeline for drawdown remains solid for the remains of the year and strong demand means continued supply will be required next year.