The number of home mortgages in arrears for more than 90 days fell to 6.7% in the first quarter of 2018 from an upwardly revised 6.8% three months earlier, new figures from the Central Bank reveal.

The Central Bank said this marked the 18th consecutive decline in the level of arrears.

Today's figures also show that accounts in arrears over 720 days also declined slightly to just under 30,000, the 11th decline in a row.

But the Central Bank said this still represented 41% of homeowners who have missed payments and at €2.6 billion, they make up 90% of all arrears balances outstanding. 

There was an increase in the number of accounts in arrears up to 90 days, but the Central Bank said this was due to Storm Emma impacting customers' ability to make payments at their branch in March. 

Today's figures also show that the number of home mortgages that were classified as restructured at the end of March stood at 117,334.

Of these, 86% were deemed to be meeting the terms of their current restructure agreement.

The number of split mortgage arrangements increased during the three month period, accounting for nearly one quarter of all restructuring agreements. The share of interest only and reduced payment arrangements fell further, though, to a combined total of 8.5%. 

Arrears capitalisation continued to account for the largest share of restructured accounts at 33% at the end of March.

The Central Bank figures also reveal that a total of 5,446 new restructure arrangements were agreed during the first three months of the year, the lowest since the end of September 2012.