Continued decline in number of mortgages in arrears

Almost 64,000 residential accounts in arrears at the end of last year

Some 44,000 mortgage accounts were in arrears for more than 90 days, a 2.6 per cent fall versus the previous three months.

Some 44,000 mortgage accounts were in arrears for more than 90 days, a 2.6 per cent fall versus the previous three months.

 

The number of residential mortgage accounts in arrears has continued to decline, falling 2 per cent in the final three months of 2018, new figures show.

At the end of December, there were 728,168 active residential mortgage accounts in the Republic, which combined are worth €98.1 billion. Of these, 63,246 accounts were in arrears, a decline of 1,264 mortgages on the previous quarter.

Some 44,000 mortgage accounts were in arrears for more than 90 days, a 2.6 per cent fall versus the previous three months, making the final three months of the year the twenty-first consecutive quarter in which there has been a decline.

The number of accounts in arrears for two years also fell again, declining by 1.6 per cent versus the third quarter. This marked the fourteenth consecutive decline in this category, with represents 44 per cent of all accounts in arrears and 88 per cent of arrears balances outstanding.

Some 111,504 accounts had been restructured at the end of the year with 4,251 new restructuring arrangements agreed during the fourth quarter alone. This brought the total number of new restructuring arrangements in 2018 to 22,171.

According to the Central Bank, which collated the figures, some 80 per cent of restructured accounts were not in arrears at the end of last year.

Legal proceedings

During the final three months of 2018, legal proceedings relating to 405 residential accounts had begun and there were 364 accounts where proceedings had concluded but arrears remained outstanding.

A total of 166 properties were repossessed during the period under review, up from 161 properties in the previous quarter.

Of the properties taken into possession, 138 were surrendered voluntarily or abandoned. The remainder were repossessed on foot of a court order.

During the final three months, 242 properties were also disposed of by lenders, leaving them in possession of 1,500 properties at the end of the year.

The figures also show there were 111,141 residential mortgage accounts for buy-to-let properties held in the Republic at the end of 2018, which were worth a combined €19.1 billion. Some 18,999 of these were in arrears, down from 20,579 accounts at the end of September.

A total of 15,608 or 14 per cent of all buy-to-let properties were in arrears for more than 90 days, reflecting a decrease of 8.4 per cent over the quarter.

Buy-to-let accounts in arrears for two years or more decreased by 9.5 per cent, according to the Central Bank.