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Mortgage arrears in Ireland rise to highest level yet

New figures from the Central Bank illustrate the deepening mortgage crisis in Ireland with almost 130,000 in arrears.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

THE NUMBER OF mortgages in arrears has risen to its highest level to date as homeowners struggle to make repayments.

Almost 130,000 mortgages are in arrears of some kind, according to new research from the Central Bank.

Figures show 83,251 private residential mortgages- 10.9 per cent of the total number of mortgages –  around the country are now in arrears of at least three months.

The numbers are an increase of 5,621 in just five months and illustrate the deepening mortgage crisis in Ireland.

In May the Central Bank found that 10.2 per cent of Ireland’s mortgages – 77,630 homes –  were at least three months behind with repayments. Previous figures from the end of 2011 found that 9.2 per cent of mortgages were in arrears at the end of last December.

The Central Bank also found that an additional 45,165 mortgages are in arrears of less than 90 days as of the end of June, a slight decrease from 46,284 at the end of March.

Separately, the data found that 84,941 mortgages have been restructured by banks and building societies, meaning that homeowners may have been switched to an interest-only mortgage, reduced the payment account, or temporarily deferred payment.

The Central Bank said it is monitoring all mortgage lenders to make sure they are following new guidelines on helping customers who are in financial difficulty.

A total of 146 properties were repossessed by lenders between April and June. Of these, 44 were repossessed on food of a court order while 102 were voluntarily surrendered or abandoned.

A report by Davy Stockbrokers last week predicted that mortgage arrears could peak at 18 per cent.

Read: Father of five barricades farm after eviction notice >

Read: Mortgage arrears could rise to 18 per cent, says report >

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