Number of family home repossessions fall

The number of family homes being repossessed has fallen, with the improving economy helping to cut the number of mortgages in arrears.

New Central Bank figures show 191 homes were repossessed in July to September, down from 292 in April to June.

The vast bulk of the repossessions are carried out by banks, the figures show. Of the 191 homes taken in July to September, just 30 were done by “non-bank entities” – and not all of those are vulture funds.

It looks like the total number of repossessions this year will be well behind last year.

A Central Bank spokesman said 1,417 family homes were repossessed last year. For the first 9 months of this year, the number was 847.

The data showed the number of mortgages in arrears has continued to fall. At the end of September, 64,510 family home mortgages were in arrears, down 2.9pc compared to the end of June.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said the figures showed progress was being made in dealing with “a tremendously difficult issue for families across the country”.

However, he admitted that more progress needs to be made “especially at a time when the economy is stable”.

The Minister said householders in trouble need to work with the Insolvency Service of Ireland.

“Through engagement with that organisation the majority of citizens who reach those arrangements end up staying their homes,” Mr Donohoe said.

“The banks and those in difficulty must continue to engage together.”

Despite the drop in arrears the number of mortgages in arrears for more than 720 days remained stubbornly high. Almost 28,000 family home mortgages are in that category, and they constitute around 90pc of all the arrears owed.

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