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Almost 4,000 mortgage accounts fell into arrears in Q1 of this year, figures from the Central Bank show

The lowest number of mortgage arrears since 2010 was recorded in the first quarter of the year.

The Central Bank of Ireland published the figures today.
The Central Bank of Ireland published the figures today.
Image: Leah Farrell

THE NUMBER OF mortgage holders who fell into arrears increased by almost 4,000 in the first quarter of the year as Covid-19 disrupted the economy, according to new figures from the Central Bank. 

The figures showed some 3,927 cases of mortgage arrears for less than 90 days but indicated those mortgages returned to having no arrears as payment breaks were made available. 

“Preliminary indications are that a significant number of new arrears accounts have since reverted to having no arrears, in part owing to the introduction of Covid-19 payment breaks in the last 2-3 weeks of the quarter,” it said. 

The Central Bank also said it has recorded a decline in the number of accounts in long-term arrears – or arrears recorded for longer than 90 days.

Some 5.6% of mortgage accounts were recorded as in arrears at the end of March, the lowest level since 2010. 

In a statement, the Central Bank explained: “Accounts in arrears over 90 days decreased by 986 over the quarter. Similarly, accounts in arrears over 720 days decreased by 664 accounts.

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“Notwithstanding, accounts in arrears over 720 days continue to account for a large proportion of all accounts in arrears. At the end of March 2020, such accounts represented 42% of all accounts in arrears.”

There were 4,088 new restructure arrangements agreed during the first quarter of 2020. Overall, a total stock of 81,255 mortgage accounts were categorised as restructured at the end of March 2020.

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