Number of mortgage accounts in arrears falls for 11th consecutive quarter

Central Bank figures show 11% of all mortgage accounts in Ireland were in arrears at the end of March

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The latest mortgage arrears figures show the number of people falling behind on their mortgages has fallen in the first three months of the year - for the 11th time in a row.

According to the figures, 11% of all mortgage accounts in Ireland were in arrears at the end of March - down 2.6% at the end of last year.

The number of accounts in arrears over 90 days at the of March was 59,696, or 8% of the total. That number is down 3.6% from the last quarter.

Early arrears continued to decline during the first three months of this year, with a quarter-on-quarter fall of 0.3% in the number of accounts in arrears of less than 90 days.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank says accounts in arrears of more than 720 days now constitute 42% of all accounts in arrears, and 86% of arrears outstanding.

The figures also show that 120,447 mortgage accounts were classified as restructured at the end of March.

David Hall, CEO of the Irish Mortgage Holders Association, spoke to Newstalk Lunchtime about the new figures.

Mr Hall said there "are massive numbers of individual citizens who are in arrears for long periods of time who can't pay [...] Given the housing crisis and homelessness crisis, this is a further wake-up call for the need for the Government to intervene directly".

He added that "this tends to be a celebration every time [the figures] come out - but some of the figures are frightening".