THE CENTRAL BANK of Ireland is to undertake a survey of 2,000 homeowners with mortgage debt to try and gain a “greater understanding” of the current financial position of households.
Governor Patrick Honohan said that the Ipsos-commissioned research will help the regulator “scale and target policies more effectively”.
He said its purpose is to identify any changes in the income and consumption patterns of mortgage holders since they first took out the homeloans.
The Central Bank said the issue of mortgage arrears remains a top priority and this data – along with subsequent research on the likely developments in the property market – represents “one element of the strategic approach” being taken.
The information gathered through this research is vital to understanding the challenges faced by mortgage-holders and will enable the Central Bank to participate in a meaningful way in wider discussions and policy developments on this issue.
The Central Bank emphasised that any information provided by borrowers will not be passed on to financial institutions and lenders. Mortgage holders randomly selected will be sent a letter asking them to participate in a face-to-face interview with Ipsos/MRBI staff.
Any survey participants who are currently experiencing difficulties with mortgage repayments and who are in the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process will also be asked about their experience with this process and how they feel they have been treated by their lender.
According to figures released in February 2012, there are over 70,000 mortgage holders in Ireland more than 90 days behind in their repayments.