The average home purchase mortgage for first-time buyers has increased by €20,000 over the past year and now stands at €250,137, according to new figures from the banking industry.
It is the second-highest level ever recorded and just €1,700 less than the peak in the first quarter of 2008.
The figures are contained in the latest report from the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), which said there was solid growth in mortgage activity in the first three months of 2021, driven mainly by first-time buyers and re-mortgage/switching.
For first-time buyers, mortgage drawdowns in the first quarter increased by almost 10 per cent compared to the same period in 2021.
A total of 9,910 new mortgages to the value of €2.5 billion were drawn down by borrowers since January 1st. This represents an increase of 9 per cent in volume and 17.3 per cent in value compared to the same period in 2021.
Alongside first-time buyers, the average mover purchase mortgage reached a new high of €293,817, some €17,000 higher than a year earlier.
BPFI chief executive Brian Hayes said the continued growth in mortgage activity driven mainly by first-time buyers and those re-mortgaging or switching is evidence of choice and competition in the mortgage market and consumers' ability to use that choice to their advantage.
"One of the standouts from this quarter’s drawdown data is undoubtedly the sharp rise we are seeing in average home purchase mortgage drawdowns," he said.
"These increases very much reflect the trend in average home price increases, which is due to the lack of supply in the market. With nearly 12,100 approvals valued at almost €3.2bn strong in the first quarter, mortgage lenders are still actively supporting the many customers seeking finance for a new home and there is a healthy pipeline for mortgage drawdowns in the coming months."
"It is encouraging to note that in the 12 months to March 2022, there were about 35,000 new-home commencements, which is a good indicator for future supply," he said.