Tuesday 16 January 2018

Number in trouble with home loans is still rising

Joe Brennan

Irish mortgage arrears continued to track higher in November as homeowners continued to struggle with the deep recession, according to Moody's.

A report by the ratings agency into almost half the €110bn-plus Irish prime homeloans market found that repayments on 3.3pc of loans were, at least, three months behind in November -- shooting through the 3pc level for the first time since Moody's started collecting data in 2004.

The figure compared with 2.9pc in October and is double where it stood a year earlier.

Moody's said arrears were expected to increase further as the European Central Bank (ECB) is expected to start hiking rates again and the unemployment rate, at 12.5pc, hits 13.8pc this year.

"Weak demand and oversupply of property in many areas suggest house prices will continue to fall during 2010," it added.

Moody's looks at the €50bn-plus worth of Irish mortgages that are securitised -- or pooled and packaged into bonds to be sold to investors as a way of raising funds. More recently, however, the banks have securitised mortgages as a way of providing collateral to tap the ECB for short-term funds, as access to wholesale markets remains difficult.

The agency noted yesterday that the rate of mortgages being redeemed slumped 6.1pc in November, down from 11pc a year earlier and an all-time high of 25.3pc in 2005.

The number defaulting on mortgage repayments for more than a year increased to 0.8pc in November.

Irish Independent

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