FIRST-time buyers are relying on cash savings to help pay off a chunk of the cost of their new home.
Those getting a mortgage from Bank of Ireland typically have a deposit which is around a quarter of the value of the property.
And most of the new buyers are in the Dublin and commuter counties, the bank said.
The average new buyer borrows €153,000, and already has a deposit of 23pc of the value of the property.
Most new buyers bought the property with someone else, with the average age of buyers at 32.
Announcing it had loaned €1bn in mortgages last year, Bank of Ireland said demand for home loans was strong.
Director of consumer banking Jonathan Byrne said the bank now had €2bn to lend to new buyers and mover purchasers.
The lender has already received €400m in applications for this new fund, he said.
This compares with lending by the bank of €5.6bn for mortgages in 2006.
Another sign of keen buyer interest was the fact that there was a 65pc rise the value of mortgages advanced by Bank of Ireland in the second half of the year, Mr Byrne said.
Four out of 10 mortgages provided in the market were from Bank of Ireland.
"We are seeing early and positive signs of improving consumer confidence and an increasing desire to purchase a home," Mr Byrne said.
Economists feel property prices have stabilised, which may be pushing young people to buy.
The latest residential property price figures from the Central Statistics Office show that prices rose by 1.1pc in November, the fourth monthly increase since the beginning of July.
Alan McQuaid, of Merrion Stockbrokers, said: "The clear indications are that sentiment in the housing market has improved but a lot of this could have been down to people rushing to buy ahead of the end of mortgage interest relief. Only time will tell."
Figures for December are due out on Tuesday.
The mortgage market is expected to benefit from Permanent TSB raising mortgage lending five-fold this year to €350m.