According to a report in today’s Irish Independent the number fell by a massive 22,323 to September year-on-year.
The figure which now stands at 96,115 represents a drop of 19% or 1,860 homes a month or 61 properties a day.
The number of mortgages in arrears for more than 90 days has also followed a similar pattern with a decrease of 16% this year.
The news has been welcomed by economists in the Republic of Ireland as further evidence that the country’s finances are moving in the right direction.
David Hall chief executive of the Irish Mortgage Holders Association said: “Unsecured debt has been pursued much more ruthlessly than mortgage debt. Some households have finally cleared it now and are turning to their mortgage arrears.”
However chief operations officer of the Professional Insurance Brokers Association (PIBA) Rachel Doyle was critical of the solutions being offered to those in arrears.
She said: “For very many others it does not amount to a realistic option but rather is storing up problems for the future. It merely amounts to a repackaging of the problem without dealing with it. In many of these arrears cases, lenders should be looking at writing down loans as the mortgage holders may never be able to repay the loan amount.”