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We paid back €700 million in mortgage debt in the first three months of the year

Debts owed across the board continue to fall, but buy-to-let loans are coming down at a slower rate.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

NEW STATISTICS FROM the Central Bank show that the total amount owed on Irish mortgages declined by €700 million in the first quarter of the year.

A total of €121.9 billion is now owed in mortgages, with Irish people seemingly focused on paying down debt.

Getting out of debt is proving to be the most pressing issue for many Irish people, with the a recent downward trend in the amount of non-mortgage lending from banks to private households continuing.

A total of €97.8 billion is outstanding in household loans, down 3.6 per cent on last year, and 1.2 per cent when compared to the last three months of 2014.

Tracker decline

Tracker mortgages account for just under half of the total amount of mortgages owed, with 94 per cent of loans comprised of some sort of floating rate scheme such as variable or fixed rate.

Holders of trackers paid back €1 billion in debt during the first quarter, with standard variable mortgages increasing by €441 million.

The amount owed on principal dwellings came down faster than that owed on buy-to-lets, with people paying back €592 million secured on their homes in the first quarter.

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By contrast, loans on buy-to-lets came down at a slower rate, with just €178 million paid back to leave a total of €19.9 billion at the end of March.

Personal lending drop

The amount of cash lent out for non-housing related purposes accounts for 15 per cent of the total owed, or around €14.5 billion, down 33.2 per cent from a peak of €28.9 billion in the first quarter of 2009.

A total of €85.6 billion is on deposit in Irish banks, down €72 million during the year to March.

Read: Here’s how many houses the banks have repossessed so far this year>

Read: Buy to let landlords problems affecting family homes>

About the author:

Jack Horgan-Jones

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