First-time buyer mortgage activity remains strong amid wider market slowdown, according to latest figures from BPFI

Annualised FTB approvals rose to €8.4 billion, the highest annualised levels since the data series began

  • A total of 4,747 mortgages were approved in July 2023 – first-time buyers (FTBs) were approved for 2,918 mortgages (61.5% of total volume) while mover purchasers accounted for 1,148 (24.2%).
  • The number of mortgages approved fell by 0.4% month-on-month and by 9.7% compared with the same period last year.
  • Mortgages approved in July were valued at €1,356 million – of which FTBs accounted for €837 million (61.7%) and mover purchasers for €391 million (28.9%).
  • The value of mortgage approvals remained the same month-on-month and fell by 6.7% year-on-year.
  • Re-mortgage/switching activity fell by 78.6% in volume terms year-on-year and by 80.3% in value in the same period.

Speaking on the publication of the data, Ali Ugur, Chief Economist, BPFI stated: “Our latest mortgage approval figures show that, despite a wider market slowdown, first-time buyer (FTB) activity remains strong. Volumes and values rose by 22.8% and 26.7%, respectively, year-on-year in July 2023, the fifth successive month in which FTB mortgage approvals have risen in year-on-year terms. This sustained growth meant that almost 30,000 FTB mortgages (29,754) valued at nearly €8.4 billion (€8,365 million) were approved in the twelve months ending July 2023, the highest annualised levels since the data series began. In addition to the more than 22,000 Help to Buy applications reported by the Revenue Commissioners up to the end of July, today’s approval figures demonstrate that the pipeline for FTB mortgage drawdowns remains very strong.”

“While FTBs accounted for almost 62% of the volume and value of mortgage approvals in July, the annualised value of mover purchase approvals reached almost €3.9 billion in the twelve months ending July, the highest value since the series began. However, this in part reflects rising average mortgage values with the average mover purchase approval exceeding €340,000 for the first time, at €340,957 in July 2023.”

Data Series

All mortgage approvals data from January 2011 onwards is available in Microsoft Excel format (*.xls) in the BPFI Mortgage Approvals report data series. The BPFI Mortgage Approvals report data series since January 2011 is available to download here.


Note: Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) represents the banking, payments and fintech sector in Ireland.  Together with its affiliates, the Federation of International Banks in Ireland, and the Fintech & Payments Association of Ireland, BPFI has 100 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.

Contact: Fiona Murphy, Head of Communications, 087 9740046, or Jillian Heffernan, Director of Communications, 087 9016880,

The BPFI Mortgage Approvals Report July 2023 is available for download below in PDF format.