One in 10 owners behind on mortgage as CSO announce 12% house price rise

One in 10 homeowners are behind with repayments on their mortgage, official figures have revealed.

As a report from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed house prices up 12.3% in the last year, the Central Bank said 73,706 borrowers had fallen into arrears.

The regulator said 51,750 homeowners were 90 days behind on their mortgage payments at the end of June.

In the three months from April the Central Bank said 340 people either voluntarily gave back the keys to their home after running into debt or were forced to give up the home by the courts.

Landlords who had taken out mortgages on another 207 properties found themselves in the same boat.

Despite the high level of repossessions the Central Bank noted that the mortgage arrears crisis was steadily improving, with the numbers falling behind on loan repayments reducing for more than a year.

The report also revealed non-bank entities hold 48,199 mortgage accounts in Ireland and one third of those are held by unregulated firms.

Meanwhile, the CSO said house prices saw the biggest growth in Dublin city, the west and the south-east.

The lowest growth rates were in Fingal, north Dublin and the Mid-West region.

The CSO said there were 3,878 houses or apartments registered as sold in July and only 624 were newly built.

The report covering the last 12 months showed that there were 41,822 deals done in that time, including 11,372 purchases by first-time buyers and 8,966 by people who will not be living in the properties.

The CSO said Glenageary and Blackrock in Co Dublin were the two most expensive places to buy a home.

Statisticians have switched emphasis for the Residential Property Price Index to median prices rather than the standard average.

It said homes in the Glenageary area of Dun Laoghaire had a median price of 638,000 euro compared to 571,250 euro in Blackrock.

At the other end of the scale Ballyfermot was the least expensive part of the city, with homes selling for a median price of 181,000 euro.

Outside the capital the dearest places to buy were Greystones, Co Wicklow and Dunboyne, Co Meath and the cheapest were Clones, Co Monaghan and Castlerea, Co Roscommon.

The CSO also said today that it was shifting focus to median prices from mean prices in its residential property price publications and tools.

It said that while it will continue to publish both median and mean residential property price statistics in its tables, median prices will be emphasised in the publication format.

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