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File photo James Horan/Photocall Ireland

More than 100,000 households now in mortgage difficulties

New figures from the Central Bank show the number of mortgages in arrears has risen significantly.

THE NUMBER OF homeowners in mortgage difficulties has continued to grow, with more than 100,000 households now either in arrears or having had to restructure their loans, according to the latest figures from the Central Bank.

The proportion of mortgages in arrears of 90 days or more has grown significantly since June – from 7.2 per cent to 8.1 per cent of all mortgages, or a total of 62, 970 loans.

Meanwhile 66,732 loans have had to be restructured by lenders as borrowers were unable to meet repayments.

Of these around half are paid up to date since the restructuring, while the others are still in arrears – so some loans are counted as both “restructured” and “in arrears”. However, the figures clearly show that more than 100,000 households are in mortgage difficulties.

Some 162 properties have been repossessed by lenders in the three months to September. Forty-three of these were taken into possession after court orders, while 119 were voluntarily surrenders by borrowers.

These figures bring the total number of repossessions to 1,048 over the last two years.A further 76 repossession orders were granted by courts in the third quarter of this year.

During the same period, lenders made 89 court applications to enforce their security – relating to total arrears of €5.3million, or an average of almost €60,000 per loan. The total of all the loans was €27.2million, meaning each household borrowed an average of just over €300,000.

Read more: Government may ‘take action’ against banks not passing on mortgage rate cut>

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