Figures released by the Central Bank show that 8.1% of private mortgages in Ireland are in arrears of more than 90 days.

The Central Banks says total arrears and restructuring for mortgages amounts to 99,346 accounts.

The 8.1% figure amounts to 62,970 mortgages in difficulty, up from 55,763 or 7% that were in arrears at the end of June.

The value of arrears has passed €1bn for the first time, with the average size of the arrears just over €17,000 and the average loan amount outstanding is €196,400.

Of these, 46,371 are in arrears in excess of 180 days while total restructured mortgages were 69,735.

Of the restructured mortgages, where people have lengthened the term or opted for interest only periods, 36,376 are sticking to the new arrangements, while 33,359 restructured mortgages have slipped into arrears of varying degrees.

A total of 162 homes were taken into possession by lenders, 43 of these were repossessed on foot of court orders and 119 were the result of voluntary surrenders or abandonment of properties during the quarter to the end of September.

The courts granted orders for possession or sale in 76 cases.

Just over 1,000 properties have been repossessed in the past two years.

There are currently 773,420 private mortgage accounts held in Ireland to a value of €114.4bn.

Central Bank data

The Central Bank has published additional new research on mortgage arrears and negative equity, which shows that just over a third of households with mortgages are in negative equity - where they owe more than the value of their home.

More than half of borrowers who took out mortgages between 2005 and 2008 are in negative equity.

But the bank said 90% of those in negative equity have not so far fallen behind with their mortgage repayments.

One-third of the mortgages examined from the four main lenders - AIB, Bank of Ireland, EBS and Permanent TSB - were given out in the boom years between 2005 and 2008. Only 5% of these were in arrears.

The Central Bank research - which covered 600,000 loans - also indicates that just over half of buy-to-let properties are in negative equity. The average negative equity in these cases is just over €100,000.

56% of mortgages in arrears for more than 90 days were with AIB, Bank of Ireland, EBS or Permanent TSB. 35% of loans in arrears were with other mortgage lenders, while 9% were with sub-prime lenders.

The bank also found a higher level of arrears among homeowners with standard variable rate mortgages. 16% of these were behind with their repayments, with 6.3% in arrears for more than 90 days.

For tracker mortgages, the figures were 12% and 4.2% respectively.

"This implies that 10% of properties on standard variable rates, which have already experienced some level of arrears, could experience long-term arrears if standard variable rates were to increase significantly," the bank said.

The Central Bank research also found that around a quarter of homeowners have more than one loan secured against their property.

Two-thirds of households with mortgages owe less than €200,000, while another 30% have debts of between €200,000 and €500,000. Less than 4% owe more than €500,000.