Delinquency rates amongst Irish residential mortgages remain high despite from their peak in late 2013, according to ratings agency Standard & Poor’s.

In its latest analysis of the country’s residential mortgage-backed securities market, S&P said that 15.7% were in arrears by the end of 2015.

This compares to 23% in the third quarter of 2013.

Meanwhile severe delinquencies – where there are arrears of 90 days or more – represent 12.8% of the total market, which it says is a four year low for the category.

However severe delinquencies now make up a larger proportion of arrears cases than before – accounting for 80% of total arrears over the past three years.

S&P says that improvements in the arrears situation comes as the country’s economy improves, along with the unemployment rate.

However it says that the real estate market still bears the scars of the financial crisis, with residential property prices still well below their peak and growth rates uneven across the country.