The number of homeowners in mortgage arrears for more than 90 days fell to 5.4% at the end of September from 5.6% three months earlier, new Central Bank data showed today.

The decrease was partly supported by the continued availability of payment breaks for borrowers affected by Covid-19, the Central Bank said. 

The Central Bank's latest residential mortgage arrears and repossessions statistics show that a total of 733,301 home mortgage accounts were held here by the end of September, with a value of €98 billion. 

Of this total stock, 55,448 accounts were in arrears, representing a decrease of 1,344 accounts, or 2%, over the quarter. 

Of the total number of home mortgage accounts in arrears, 17% were overdue by between two and five years, 21% were in arrears by between five and 10 years, while 9% were in arrears for more than 10 years.

Today's figures show that a total of 76,305 home mortgage accounts were categorised as restructured by the end of September. 

Split mortgages accounted for the largest share of restructured accounts at 29%, while the number of accounts on temporary restructure arrangements remained low at 10%. 

A total of 3,954 new restructure arrangements were agreed during the third quarter of 2020, according to today's Central Bank figures. 

87% of restructured home mortgage accounts were deemed to be meeting the terms of their arrangement at the end of the third quarter of 2020. 

The Central Bank said this means that the borrower is, at a minimum, meeting the agreed monthly repayments according to the current restructure arrangement.

Meanwhile, a total of 15,797 buy-to-let mortgage accounts were in arrears at the end of September, a decrease of 2% over the quarter. 

13.6% of these buy-to-let mortgages were in arrears of more than 90 days - a decrease of 1.4% over the quarter.

Buy-to-let accounts in arrears of over 730 days amounted to 10% of all such mortgages, the Central Bank added.

20% were overdue by between two and five years, while 30% were behind their payments by between five and 10 years and 12% were in arrears over 10 years.

Today's Central Bank figures show that a total of 7,938 home mortgage accounts - or 14% of the total in arrears - are currently part of a legal process. 

The majority of these have been in the legal system for over two years, with some 2,304 of those accounts in the courts system for over five years, it added.