Bank of Ireland believes property prices have stabilised

Thursday 01 November 2012 22.01
Richie Boucher says 16,000 Bank of Ireland mortgage holders have restructured mortgages
Richie Boucher says 16,000 Bank of Ireland mortgage holders have restructured mortgages

Bank of Ireland believes residential property prices have stabilised following a fall of 55%.

BoI Chief Executive Richie Boucher said it had 16,000 mortgage customers who had either mortgage forbearance or restructured mortgages.

Speaking at the Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, he said that 86% of borrowers were able to meet the revised repayment terms.

He said this showed that changes made to mortgages were working for distressed borrowers.

Mr Boucher also said he believed that commercial property had stabilised after a 65% drop in prices.

Bank of Ireland came under fire from politicians at the committee meeting for its slow pace in dealing with distressed mortgage holders.

The bank is currently processing 13 mortgage-to-rent schemes under a pilot project. Mortgage-to-rent schemes allow banks sell homes to voluntary housing agencies, which rents the properties back to the original borrowers who were unable to meet mortgage repayments.

The bank's chief executive Richie Boucher said it was anxious to move more quickly.

Sinn Fein's Pearse Doherty questioned why Bank of Ireland had not moved moved faster and asked if it was trying to blame the Central Bank for the slow pace of progress.

Mr Boucher said the authorities wanted the banks to move together. He said in the case of the mortgage-to-rent schemes, the bank was dealing with the Department of the Environment.

Mr Boucher said the bank has seen an increase in mortgage activity in September and October, adding that the lender has been involved in the sale of over 1,000 houses.