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Arrears continue to fall in Ireland

Mortgage arrears in Ireland dropped by 3.1% in the third quarter of 2016, the 13th consecutive quarter of decline, the latest figures from the Central Bank show.

But despite the declining trend, 79,562, or 11% of all mortgages, remain in arrears, while arrears on buy-to-let mortgages where a receiver has been appointed actually rose 5.4% in Q3.

While the fall in arrears is a sure sign that market conditions are improving in Ireland, the decline is actually behind expectations, with Merrion Stockbrokers having predicted the total would have fallen to 78,000 by the end of September ‘as the economy continues to recover and household incomes improve’.

Long-term arrears also fell, with mortgages in arrears more than 90 days at end-September down by 2.1% to 56,350, the 12th consecutive fall. Mortgages in arrears of more than 720 days also fell in Q3, down by 1.2%, the fifth consecutive decline.

In total, 421 Irish properties in residential ownership were taken into possession by lenders during the quarter, of which 141 were repossessed on foot of a court order, while the remaining 280 were voluntarily surrendered or abandoned. Some 400 properties were disposed of.

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