Latest Arrears and Repossessions Figures show 5.7% of Mortgage Accounts in Arrears for more than 90 days 

Press Release 28 February 2011

Tá an preasráiteas seo ar fáil as gaeilge chomh maith

The Central Bank of Ireland today published the latest data on mortgage arrears and repossessions for the period ended December 2010. The figures show that at the end of December 2010 there were 786,164 private residential mortgage accounts held in Ireland to a value of almost €116.7 billion. Of these, 44,508 mortgage accounts, or 5.7% of the total residential mortgage accounts, were in arrears for more than 90 days. This compares with 28,603 accounts that were in arrears for more than 90 days at the end of December 2009. Furthermore, the data shows that overall mortgage debt outstanding for private residential mortgages decreased by almost €1.7 billion since the fourth quarter of 2009.

This is the first quarterly report that includes data on restructured mortgages (detailed in 4. below). There was a total stock of 59,229 residential mortgage accounts that were categorised as restructured at the end of December 2010. Of this total, 35,205 are classified as performing and not in arrears. This gives 79,713 accounts that are either in arrears greater than 90 days or have been restructured and are performing as at the end of December 2010.

The number of restructures that has taken place shows that arrangements are available to those borrowers who seek help in dealing with pre-arrears or arrears difficulties. The revised Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears, which came into effect on 01 January 2011, enhances protection afforded to people in arrears or pre-arrears. It is important that borrowers engage early with their lenders to benefit from the protection afforded under the revised Code. The Central Bank has recently published a guide to the new mortgage arrears code and a frequently asked questions document which are available on the website.

1. Arrears Data

As at the end of December 2010 there were 44,508 mortgage accounts in arrears for more than 90 days. Of these there were 31,338 mortgage accounts, or 4.0% of the total outstanding mortgage accounts, more than 180 days in arrears. In value terms €8.6 billion was owed in relation to all accounts more than 90 days in arrears, of which almost €6.2 billion was owed on accounts more than 180 days in arrears. The number of mortgage accounts in arrears for more than 90 days at the end of December 2010 increased by 10.0% since the end of September 2010. This rate of increase has slowed marginally from the 11.1% increase in the third quarter of 2010.

There were 5,812 formal demands issued by lenders outstanding at the end of December 2010; a 4.2% increase from the 5,576 formal demands outstanding at the end of September 2010. The 5,812 formal demands contained arrears amounting to €101.7 million on outstanding mortgages totalling over €1.2 billion.

Although there was a year-on-year decrease of 4.9% in the number of outstanding arrears cases where court proceedings had been issued to enforce the debt/security on the mortgage (3,074 at the end December 2010), the arrears value on such cases increased 21.1% year-on-year to stand at €106.8 million on outstanding mortgages totalling €712.2 million at the end of December 2010.

2. Court Proceedings

During the quarter ended December 2010 mortgage lenders applied to Court to commence proceedings to enforce the debt/security in 297 cases. This is an increase of 41.4% on the number of cases reported in the quarter ended September 2010, and these 297 cases comprised arrears totalling €9.8 million built up on mortgage loans that equate to €104.6 million.

During this quarter 223 court proceedings were concluded. Of these 223 cases, the Courts granted orders for possession/sale in 119 cases which included six orders to perfect the title because properties were voluntarily surrendered and 23 orders because the properties were abandoned. The remaining 90 orders were obtained to enforce the debt/security on a mortgage. In the 104 cases where no orders for possession/sale were obtained, 69 were settled by renegotiating the term and/or other conditions of the mortgage. The reasons why no orders for sale/possession were obtained in the remainder of these cases (35) were due to properties being voluntary surrendered, abandoned or that the court proceedings were settled on other terms.

3. Repossessions

At the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2010 mortgage lenders held a stock of 521 repossessed residential properties. A further 106 were repossessed during the quarter of which 34 were repossessed on foot of Court Orders and 72 were repossessed following voluntary surrender or abandonment. These 106 repossessions compare with 81 repossessions that took place in the third quarter of 2010 and 101 repossessions that took place in the quarter ended December 2009. A total of 42 properties were disposed of during the fourth quarter of 2010; down from 54 property disposals in the third quarter of 2010. Mortgage lenders held 585 repossessed residential properties at the end of December 2010.

4. Restructures

There was a total stock of 59,229 residential mortgage accounts that were classified as restructured at the end of December 2010. These accounts held a value of €10.3 billion and contained arrears of €146.2 million. Of this total stock of restructures, 35,205 accounts, with a value of almost €5.9 billion, are performing and not in arrears at the end of December 2010.

Interest only restructures account for the majority of the number of mortgages that have been restructured (38.3%); while reduced payments (that are paying greater and less than interest only) also comprise a large percentage of restructures (28.3%).

By summing the number of mortgage accounts in arrears for more than 90 days in (1.) above with the number of mortgage accounts restructured that are performing, it shows that a total of 79,713 accounts are either in arrears greater than 90 days or have been restructured due to financial distress as at the end of December 2010.

View Residential Mortgage Arrears and Repossession Statistics

View Mortgage Arrears and Repossession Statistics - Trend to December 2010.