And the lenders are adjusting their expectations accordingly… Ronan Lyons has a brilliant piece on the current state of mortgages south of the border. Bad, but nowhere near as bad as the current press would have us believe (if the stats are to be believed):
Central Bank figures show that lenders have restructured 10% of all mortgages. They have also put money aside – taxpayer money, the €5bn that Morgan Kelly was talking about and more – to provide for mortgage write-downs where families are struggling. Not only that, a recent High Court decision makes it much more difficult for lenders to repossess properties. The fact that there are fewer Court proceedings for repossession now than two years ago indicates that banks are not interested in pushing people on to the street, anyway.
It’s hard to tell what this means on the ground, but the differential between the UK and Ireland in court ordered repossessions is substantial. According to Ronan the rate of repossessions in the UK is about fifteen times that of the Republic.
Despite the distressed economy, it seems the Republic is a better place to be under financial pressure than the UK… So long as you can hold on to your job!!
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty