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We've saved over €87bn in debt-busting bonanza

IRISH households continue to cut their debts and put money into savings.

An extra €215m has been lodged into our savings accounts during the first three months of this year bringing the total to €87.2bn.

Homeowners are also taking out smaller loans to buy new houses with the amount dropping by just under 2pc in the past year.

Loans to buy houses have now dropped for 13 consecutive quarters and the drop in the first three months of this year was the largest since June 2010.

We currently owe a total of €141.8bn to resident credit institutions with home loans accounting for €125.7bn of this amount. Personal or non-housing loans accounted for €16.1bn at the end of the first three months of this year, representing a drop of 12.1pc in this type of finance in the year to March.

Personal borrowing has now dropped by 29pc since its peak in the first quarter of 2009.

The figures issued by the Central Bank show that in the case of mortgages – variable-rate, trackers or one-year fixed-rate mortgages account for 92pc of all outstanding loans.

Trackers mortgages alone account for 50pc of all outstanding loans for house purchase while another 40pc of homeowners have standard variable-rate mortgages.

Fixed-rate mortgages are held by 8pc of those with loans and almost half of these are fixed for between one and three years.

Three out of every four loans are for principal dwellings while loans for buy-to-let homes dropped slightly by 0.6pc to stand at €19.4bn or 23pc of house loans by the end of March of this year.

Loans for holiday and second homes accounted for just 1pc of all house loans and the latest figures show a drop of 6.8pc in these loans by end of March.

Nearly two-thirds of these second home loans were tracker mortgages and the remainder were made up of standard variable rates. Only 0.1pc were fixed-rate mortgages.

csheehy@herald.ie


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