Mortgage arrears see a fall of 4.4% in fourth quarter

Thursday 10 March 2016 23.16
11.8% of total mortgage holders are still behind on their repayments
11.8% of total mortgage holders are still behind on their repayments

The level of mortgage arrears on people's homes continued to decrease in the last three months of 2015 but the issue continues to remain a significant economic problem. 

This latest falls marks the tenth quarter of decreases in a row.

New figures from the Central Bank show that there are still 88,292 owner occupier homes, or 11.8% of total mortgage holders, behind on repayments.

This represents a decline of 4.4% on the previous quarter.  

In the last three months of 2015, legal proceedings were commenced in 894 cases - a drop of 65% in comparison to the same time a year earlier. 

However, there are still 36,351 owner occupier mortgages in arrears of two years or more. The figure is down about 1,000 from the earlier quarter.

Observers suggest this cohort are at most at risk of repossession. 

Today's figures also show that the number of mortgages in arrears over 90 days fell by 5.7% to 61,193 or 8.3% of total mortgages. 

The Central Bank said that 120,739 residential mortgage accounts were restructured by the end of December. Of these restructured accounts, 86.4% were meeting their new agreed deals. 

The largest increases in restructures were seen in the categories of arrears capitalisation and permanent split mortgages. 

Today's Central Bank figures also show that buy-to-let mortgage arrears over 90 days fell by 5.9% during the fourth quarter of 2015. 

By the end of December, there were 15,064 buy-to-let accounts in arrears over 720 days, which represents 17.1% of the total outstanding balance on all buy-to-let mortgages.