Residential Mortgage Arrears in Ireland continues to decline

15th March 2019

The Central Bank has this week released its report on ‘Residential Mortgage Arrears & Repossession Statistics: Q4 2018’. Since the end of September 2018, the number of accounts in mortgage arrears has fallen by 2,367.

This reduction leaves the total number of accounts in arrears at 63,246 for end-December 2018; a decrease of 7,242 (10.3%) compared to end-December 2017. The 63,246 accounts in arrears represent 8.7% of the total 728,168 private residential mortgage accounts in Ireland.

The figures show a continued decline in the over 90 days and over 720-day categories. The over 90 days marked its twenty-first consecutive quarter reduction by falling 2.6% (1,144 accounts). The over 720 days marked its fourteenth successive quarter reduction by falling 1.6% (447 accounts).

The over 720-day category accounted for 44% of all accounts in arrears at end-December 2018, and at €2.3 billion, represents 88% of arrears balances outstanding. The total number of accounts in this category decreased by 7.6% over the course of 2018.

The fourth quarter of 2018 saw 4,251 new restructure arrangements, bringing the total for 2018 to 22,171. This resulted in 111,504 restructured mortgage accounts at end-December 2018. Arrears Capitalisation accounted for the largest restructure type, making up 33.2%. Arrears capitalisation is an arrangement whereby some or all of the outstanding arrears are effectively added to the remaining principal balance, to be repaid over the life of the mortgage.

In the final quarter of 2018, 166 properties were repossessed by lenders, bringing the total for 2018 to 1,500. This is a 7.5% decrease versus 2017 when 1,622 properties were repossessed.

Non-bank entities now hold 12% of all mortgage accounts in arrears at end-December 2018; an increase of 4% compared to end-December 2017. Credit retail firms constituted 8.1% of this figure, while unregulated loan owners (ULO) held 3.5%. ULOs now hold 22% of primary dwelling homes in the over 720 day’s category.

The number of accounts in mortgage arrears can continue to decline if borrowers are made aware of the available support services. Since establishment, Abhaile has provided financial and legal advice to over 11,600 borrowers. To understand how the service may help you or someone you know, call the MABS dedicated Helpline on 0761 07 2000, or visit mabs.ie/abhaile

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