The number of home mortgages in arrears for over 90 days fell to 5.7% at the end of December from 5.9% three months earlier, new figures from the Central Bank show today.

This marked the lowest level in nine years.

In a statement, the Central Bank said the data was collected well before the coronavirus outbreak and so the potential impact on the mortgage arrears and restructures figures are not yet be visible in the data.  

It said it will continue to collect and publish statistics for users to the "greatest extent possible" during this crisis.

The Central Bank said that the number of home mortgage accounts that were classified as restructured at the end of last year stood at 85,315. 

Of these restructured accounts, 86% were deemed to be meeting the terms of their current restructure arrangement, it added.

A total of 4,993 new arrangements were agreed during the fourth quarter of 2019.

The Central Bank also said today that banks were in possession of 1,021 home mortgages at the end of December. 

Today's figures also how that the proportion of buy-to-let mortgages in arrears over 90 days also fell for the second quarter in a row, having risen unexpectedly to the highest level in more than a year last June.

The number of buy-to-let mortgages in arrears for more than 90 days fell by 5.7% to 13.5% in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The Central Bank said that 88% of buy-to-let mortgages that have restructuring arrangements in place were sticking to the new payment plan.

Today's Central Bank figures also show that banks were in possession of 615 buy-to-let properties at the end of 2019.

The Government has made it illegal for any tenant to be evicted during the coronavirus outbreak and has put a pause on any notice to quit already issued.