The number of residential mortgage accounts in arrears continued to drop in the final three months of last year, the sixth successive quarterly decline, according to new figures from the Central Bank.
The data show a total of 110,366 residential mortgage accounts – equivalent to 14.5 per cent of all such mortgages – were in arrears at the end of the year, down 6.4 per cent on the previous quarter.
Early arrears declined significantly during the fourth quarter, falling 3.8 per cent to 31,667 at the end of December, or 4.2 per cent of the total stock.
Accounts in arrears over 90 days – equivalent to 10.4 per cent of all residential mortgage accounts – fell by 7.4 percent from October to December to 78,699.
However, accounts in arrears for over 720 days continued to rise albeit at the lowest rate to date. According to the figures, the number of accounts in arrears for more than 720 days increased by 294 in the final quarter of 2014.
The outstanding balance on mortgage accounts in arrears for 720 days or more was €8.2 billion, the figures show.
Buy-to-let mortgage accounts in arrears over 90 days decreased by 7.6 per cent during the fourth quarter; the largest decrease recorded in this category to date. At the end of December, there were 15,386 Buy-to-let accounts in arrears over 720 days, with an outstanding balance of €4.8 billion.