There are almost 11,000 fewer mortgages in arrears than at the beginning of the year according to new figures from the Department of Finance.
The number of loans in arrears for principal dwellings (as opposed to investor or buy-to-let mortgages) was 100,132 at the end of August.
The Department of Finance statistics say the number of mortgages in arrears of 90 days or more is down 2% to just under 70,000. There are still 49,589 accounts in arrears of over 90 days which have not been restructured. That number has fallen by 20%, however, over the past 12 months.
The most popular forms of restructuring, according to the Department’s figures, are still term extensions, which lengthen the period over which the mortgage is to be repaid and reduce monthly repayments, and arrears capitalisation – where overdue payments are added to the principal owed by the borrower.
Arrears capitalisation is seen as a less sustainable form of restructuring because it neither reduces the monthly repayments nor lessens the overall debt burden. Arrears have been capitalised for one in four mortgages reported by the banks as having been permanently restructured.
The Department’s figures cover the six main banks operating in Ireland: AIB, Bank of Ireland, Permanent TSB, ACC, KBC Ireland and Ulster Bank. Between them they represent 90% of the Irish mortgage market.