Residential mortgage arrears down 3% in third quarter

Central Bank says non-bank entities now hold 10 per cent of owner-occupied arrears

The number of accounts in arrears for more than 720 days declined by 199 over the quarter. Photograph: iStock

The number of accounts in arrears for more than 720 days declined by 199 over the quarter. Photograph: iStock

 

The number of owner-occupied mortgage accounts in arrears fell by 2.9 per cent in the third quarter when compared with the previous three-month period, according to new figures.

Data published on Wednesday by the Central Bank shows that 64,510 owner-occupied accounts were in arrears at the end of September. Of this total, 45,178 were behind with their payments by more than 90 days, a reduction of 1.7 per cent.

This was the 20th consecutive month of declining arrears. The total amount outstanding on those accounts was €9.3 billion at the end of September, which was 9.4 per cent of the total balance on all owner-occupied mortgages in the system.

The number of accounts in arrears for more than 720 days declined by 199 or 0.7 per cent. The total due on these accounts was €2.4 billion.

The Central Bank said non-bank entities now hold 10 per cent of all owner-occupied mortgage arrears. Of this, 8 per cent are held by regulated retail credit firms, with 2 per cent by unregulated loan owners, who also hold 17 per cent of all owner-occupied mortgages in arrears of 720 days or more.

Legal proceedings

Some 509 mortgage accounts were subjected to legal proceedings to enforce the security. The courts granted an order for repossession or sale of the property affecting 120 accounts, while 161 properties were taken into possession during the quarter, of which 93 were either abandoned or subject to voluntary surrender.

The figures show that 202 properties were sold by lenders during the quarter while banks had 1,657 properties on their books at the end of September.

The Central Bank said 113,871 owner-occupied accounts were classified as restructured at the end of September, a reduction of 2,139 on the previous quarter.

On the buy-to-let side, 116,129 mortgages were in arrears, with an aggregate value of €20.3 billion. The number of accounts in arrears in this category dropped to 20,579 from 21,294 in the previous quarter, a decline of 3.4 per cent.

Some 17,032 were in arrears for more than 90 days, with an aggregate outstanding balance of €4.6 billion.

The Central Bank said 19,003 buy-to-let accounts were in restructuring arrangements at the end of September, a reduction of 831 accounts over the previous quarter.

Rent receivers were appointed to 380 buy-to-let accounts in the period, bringing this stock to 5,937.