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It is no surprise that mortgage lending figures are at such a low rate, it has been said.

Peter O’Donovan, head of mortgages at Bestinvest, suggested it indicates that the property market is reaching the bottom.

"If people are starting to buy, there will be more interest and more people will be looking after the same property and therefore that price may start to increase," he stated.

The property market is not likely to return to the same levels as last year, Mr O’Donovan suggested, although there are perhaps some signs that confidence is beginning to return.

According to statistics from the Ministry for Justice, during the first quarter of this year 22,609 mortgage possession claims were issued on a seasonally-adjusted basis, 42 per cent lower than in the first quarter of 2008.

Furthermore, 17,054 mortgage possession orders were made on a seasonally-adjusted basis, 39 per cent lower than in the first three months of last year.

The statistics also reveal that 47 per cent of mortgage possession orders were suspended, broadly the same as in the first quarter of 2008.

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