There was a huge drop in the number of people switching their mortgages in August compared to the same time last year, new figures show.
The latest report from Banking and Payments Federation Ireland reveals an almost 80% drop in switching and remortgage activity.
Just over 300 mortgages were approved for this group in August, down from over 1,600 12 months ago.
Overall, there has been a slowdown in mortgage approval activity, driven by this drop off in switching.
4,534 mortgages were approved in August, down over 18% on the same time last year, and 4.5% on the previous month.
First time buyers (FTB) accounted for over 62% of the approvals, while mover purchasers made up almost 23%.
FTB approvals were up 14% when compared to last August, but down 3% on the previous month.
“Approvals activity for FTB mortgages usually peaks between May and July so it’s not surprising to see approvals fall from the historical highs in May 2023,” said Ali Uğur, Chief Economist for BPFI.
“FTBs continue to dominate the market with FTB mortgage approval values reaching more than €8.5 billion in the 12 months ending August 2023, while the annualised number of FTB mortgage approvals exceeded 30,000 for the first time since our data series began in 2011,” he added.
Mr Uğur said this suggests that the pipeline for home purchase drawdowns remains very strong despite an overall slowdown.
In total, mortgages approved in August were valued at €1.3 billion – of which FTBs accounted for €820m and mover purchasers for €346m.
The value of mortgage approvals fell by almost 4% on the previous month, and over 14% on August last year.