Mortgage approvals grew at their slowest rate since March 2016 last month, new figures from the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland show.
The number of mortgage approvals increased by 7.3% in November to 3,925, when compared with the same month last year.
The figures show that nearly half of the approvals (47%) were for first-time buyers, with mover purchasers accounting for 30%.
The value of all mortgages approved in November was €867m, which was 14.9% higher than the same month in 2016, but this is also the slowest value growth rate since March 2016.
Borrowers switching their mortgages were the fastest growing segment among all approval categories, showing a 62.6% rise in the year to November.
The number of switchers more than doubled between March 2016 and November 2017, increasing to 3,545.
According to the BPFI, the annualised volume of mortgage approvals rose for the 20th consecutive month by 0.6% in the 12 months to November to 42,974, up from 42,708 in the 12 months ending October 2017.
Commenting on the figures, Chief Economist with Goodbody Dermot O’Leary said: “November 2016 was a tough comparator as there was a jump in applications due to (unfounded) speculation that the macro prudential mortgage rules would be tightened at that point.
“Over the three months to November, the value of approvals grew by 22% yoy (+12% yoy by volume). Overall, this has been a year of strong growth in new mortgage approvals in Ireland (see chart below), with the number of approvals up by 25% yoy and the value growing by 36% yoy.”