Belfast Telegraph

132,200 mortgage holders in arrears

There are 132,217 household mortgages in arrears, official figures have revealed.

The Central Bank said the deeper problem of long-term debt is being masked by an overall fall in the level of missed repayments for the third consecutive quarter.

Its latest report on the housing debt crisis found that the number of accounts between 90 and 720 days in arrears is down by 5,090 since the end of last year, but the number of home-owners not making repayments for more than 720 days has increased by 1,729 to 35,314.

The total amount of arrears racked up by home-owners is worth 2.4 billion euro to the banks, the report said.

In another section of the property market, the Central Bank noted an unexpected rise in the number of landlords running up repayment debts.

The number of buy-to-let mortgages in arrears increased in the first three months of the year, a trend which was not forecast, rising slightly to 39,361.

The bank warned that the long-term arrears problem in the rental sector is worsening, with 13,282 of these mortgages now behind with payments for more than two years by the end of March.

Restructuring mortgages has taken hold, with a total of 92,442 private, primary homes now on a new repayment schedule and 80% regarded as meeting the new terms.

The report said the most popular option is for split mortgages with 5,000 of these new arrangements in place.

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