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Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland
payback time

Homeowners are stepping up problem mortgage repayments - but it's not enough to solve the arrears crisis

Meanwhile, new mortgage approvals have hit a three year high, with over €400 million approved in the second quarter.

MORE IRISH HOME owners who have fallen into serious difficulty repaying mortgages are meeting restructured payment targets, research from the Central Bank has shown.

The percentage of borrowers meeting targets handed down as part of a restructured mortgage arrangement has increased from 28% in the first quarter of 2011 to 55% at the end of last year.

At the same time, the amount of problem mortgage holders who are making no repayment or limited repayments has also fallen.

The percentage of borrowers making no payment after striking a deal with their lender came down from 29% to 13% over the three-year period.


Despite the marked improvement in repayments, the Central Bank cautioned that the mortgage arrears crisis is far from over, and warned that meeting repayment targets doesn’t guarantee that the loan will be repaid in full.

“A full repayment does not necessarily imply a long-term sustainable solution, nor does it mean that the total outstanding balance will be repaid at term end.”

The report also says that while “positive trends are welcomed…more work is needed to address the large number of loans still in default but which have not been modified”.

The number of loans held by mainstream Irish banks which are in major repayment difficulty was around 28,585 at the end of last year.

The report concludes by recommending that:

More needs to be done before the arrears issue is resolved

The report looks only at permanent dwellings, excluding the buy-to-let section of the mortgage market.


Elsewhere, new data from the Irish Banking Federation shows that the amount of mortgage approvals for the second quarter of the year hit a three-year high, with 2,268 loan applications given the green light.

The new figures marks a 41.5% increase on approvals in the second quarter of last year.

Mortgages Irish Banking Federation Irish Banking Federation

The value of home lending exceeded €400 million for the first time since the series began, with €406 million approved during the second quarter of the year.

The average value of an approved mortgage was €179,012, an increase of 5.5% when compared to last year.

The IBF did not publish figures for how much was drawn down out of the approved loan total.

Read: Warning over interest-only mortgage time bomb>

Read: Long-term arrears would take 33 years to clear at current rate> 

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