16.5% are behind with mortgages

Some 16.5% of the country’s household mortgages are behind with repayments, the latest Central Bank figures show.

While the total number of debt-hit loans is falling, the crisis of long-term arrears for some homeowners is growing – there are now 1,752 homes behind with payments for almost two years.

A review of the alarming level of debt on private residential mortgages revealed about €8bn of borrowings left to be repaid to the banks.

The Central Bank said a separate set of figures showed the devastation which also still hitting the rental sector, with 9.4% of buy-to-let landlords’ accounts – 14,536 mortgages – in arrears for 720 days.

The report revealed outstanding balances left to be repaid in this sector of €4.5bn.

According to the Central Bank, in the private residential market, 101,973 mortgages were classed as restructured at the end of June – an increase of 10% on the previous three months.

Some 296 repossessions were also ordered by the courts between March and June, the latest review showed.

The Central Bank revealed that the number of repossessions ordered by the courts combined with voluntary surrender of privately-owned homes reached its highest level between March and June.

There were 299 homes taken from borrowers during those three months – the largest figure since records were released from late 2009.

According to a review of their figures going back almost five years, 3,131 privately-owned homes or apartments have either been repossessed by the banks or voluntarily handed over to a lender.

And since the end of last year there has been a significant increase each quarter, from 168 for the last three months of 2013 to 281 in the first three months of this year to 299 up to June.

Figures also showed 550 landlords' properties classed as buy-to-let have been repossessed or surrendered to lenders since the Central Bank began recording the statistics in the autumn of 2012.

They also peaked in the latest report but only 97 were taken from borrowers between March and June this year.

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