The number of Irish mortgage approvals grew by 52% year on year (yoy) in February (+47% yoy in January) with total value of approvals up by 68% yoy (+61% yoy in January).
This is according to data published this morning from the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI).
In both cases, the February outturn represents a significant acceleration. Although the BPFI warns of weak base effects in 2016 affecting the annual comparisons, the upward trend over a longer period has been pretty relentless in any case.
The data indicates that first-time buyers continue to the key driver. In February, the value of FTB mortgage approvals grew by 86% yoy. Approvals for mover-purchasers grew by 50% yoy by value, while BTL approvals grew by 20% yoy.
Over the three months to February 2017, mortgage approvals for house purchase overall grew by 42% by volume and by 55% by value.
According to Goodbody Stockbrokers, "While new house build is now also growing strongly, supply shortages will continue to be the main constraint to purchases and lead to further upward price movements.