Economics: Latest Irish mortgage arrears data show further improvement

Meanwhile, data from the Central Bank on Thursday showed that the number of mortgage accounts for principal dwelling houses (PDH) in arrears fell further in the third quarter of 2017. This marked the seventeenth consecutive quarter of decline. A total of 72,489 accounts (10%) were in arrears at end-September, a decline of 1.7% relative to June 2017.

The number of PDH accounts in arrears over 90 days at end-September was 50,688 (7% of total), reflecting a quarter-on-quarter fall of 2.1%. This represented the sixteenth consecutive decline in the number of PDH accounts in arrears over 90 days.

All maturity categories of arrears, including the over 720 days’ category, declined in the third quarter. This category recorded a ninth consecutive fall, having decreased for the first time in the third quarter of 2015. The decline of 1.7% in the third quarter of 2017 resulted in an annual fall of 8.5%.

The number of PDH mortgage accounts that were classified as restructured at end-September was 119,070. Of these restructured accounts, 87% were deemed to be meeting the terms of their current restructure arrangement, up slightly from the previous quarter. There was a continued reduction in short-term restructure arrangements such as Interest Only and Reduced Payments, which was partly offset by an increase in longer-term arrangements such as Arrears Capitilisations.

With the economy continuing to grow strongly and unemployment still decreasing, we expect further falls in the number of mortgage arrears over the coming quarters.