The Central Bank have published the Q4 2011 update of the mortgage arrears series with the data for the full year also available. The update shows that 9.2% of mortgage accounts, and more importantly 12.3% of mortgages by value, are in arrears of 90 days or more.
The total amount of owner-occupied mortgages in Ireland is now €113.5 billion, down from €118.7 billion when this series began in September 2009. This reflects the very slow uptake of new mortgages and also the continued repayments on many mortgages which are not in arrears.
In fact, in the final three months of the year the stock of mortgages fell from €114.4 billion to €113.5 billion, for a reduction of €935 million. Since September 2009, the amount of arrears owing on mortgages more than 3 monthly payments in arrears has increased from €354 million to €1,117 million.
At the end of 2010 the Central Bank estimated that about 50% of the arrears were in the covered banks, 40% in the non-covered banks and 10% in other or sub-prime lenders. It is not clear what has happened to these proportions over the last 12 months.
The rate at which mortgages are falling into arrears does not appear to be slowing. Any slowdown would first be seen in the 90 to 180 day category but there is no sign of this. The continued entries into this category would be offset by the 6,700 who moved into the 180 day plus category (and a small number who may have exited arrears) but there was still have an increase of 1,200.