New Central Bank figures show that the level of mortgage accounts in arrears for over 90 days stood at the lowest level in the final quarter of 2021 since March 2010.

At the end of December, 4.5% of all home mortgage accounts were in arrears over 90 days - representing 32,558 mortgage accounts - as the downward trend observed over the last number of years continues.

The Central Bank said the total number of principal dwelling house accounts in arrears fell by 618 accounts in the three months between October and December of last year, following a decline of 1,481 accounts in the third quarter of 2021.

Overall, the total number of home mortgage accounts in arrears is down 7,924 accounts or 14% from the same time the previous year.

Today's figures show that accounts in long-term mortgage arrears - over one year - accounted for 55% of all accounts in arrears at the end of December.

Of the total number of mortgage accounts in arrears, 16% were overdue by between two and and five years, 19% were in arrears by between 5 and 10 years, while 11% were in arrears for more than 10 years.

The Central Bank said that 66,590 home mortgage accounts were categorised as restructured at the end of 2021 - representing 9% of total home mortgage accounts outstanding.

It noted that the total number of restructured arrangements fell by 3% over the quarter and continues a long term trend of decline.

A total of 3,486 new restructure arrangements were agreed during the fourth quarter of 2021, down marginally from 3,519 in the third quarter.

Arrears capitalisation and reduced payments accounted for the largest share of new restructure arrangements, at 885 and 473 accounts, respectively.



For the outstanding stock of restructures, split mortgages accounted for the largest share, representing 31% of all restructured mortgage accounts at the end of the year.

The Central Bank said that 88% of restructured mortgage accounts were deemed to be meeting the terms of their arrangement, largely unchanged on recent quarters. This means that the borrower is - at least - meeting the agreed monthly repayments according to the current restructure arrangement.

It also said that of the home mortgage accounts in arrears, 13% are currently part of a legal process, with 34% in the legal system for over five years.

Meanwhile, looking at buy-to-let mortgages, the Central Bank said that of the total BTL stock, 12% were in arrears of more than 90 days, down 6% over the quarter.

Of the total number of BTL accounts in arrears, 21% were overdue by between two and five years, a further 27% were in arrears by between five and ten years and 15% were in arrears for over 10 years.

A total stock of 8,558 BTL mortgage accounts were categorised as restructured at the end of December, a fall of 625 accounts over the quarter.

Of the total stock of restructured accounts recorded at the end of the year, 84% were not in arrears, while 87% were meeting the terms of their current restructure arrangement.