First-time buyers now face mortgages of an average of €250,137 following a €20,000 increase in the past year.
The rapidly-rising figures were released by the banking industry.
It is the second-highest level ever recorded and just €1,700 less than the peak in the first quarter of 2008.
The figures are contained in the latest report from the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI).
It shows solid growth in mortgage activity in the first three months of 2021, driven mainly by first-time buyers and re-mortgage/switching.
However, house prices continue to rocket for those trying to get onto the property ladder.
And for many considering building their own homes on family sites, the cost of building materials is also continuing to spiral.
For first-time buyers, mortgage drawdowns in the first quarter increased by almost 10% compared to the same period in 2021.
A total of 9,910 new mortgages to the value of €2.5 billion were drawn down by borrowers since January 1st.
This represents an increase of 9% in volume and 17.3% in value compared to the same period in 2021.
Alongside first-time buyers, the average mover purchase mortgage reached a new high of €293,817, some €17,000 higher than a year earlier.