DUBLIN, June 13 (Reuters) - The number of Irish homeowners in deep arrears of two years or more rose slightly in the first quarter to account for 45% of all borrowers behind in payments, central bank data showed on Thursday.
Accounts in arrears over 720 days rose by 1.5% quarter-on-quarter to almost 28,000. A continued decline in shorter term arrears categories kept the total proportion in arrears for more than 90 days at an eight-year-low of 6% at the end of March.
The proportion of residential investment property loans in arrears over 90 days also rose to 14.6% from 13.9%, the first increase since 2014 when the total peaked at 22.1%. The rise over the quarter was impacted by loan classifications following loan sales, the central bank said. (Reporting by Padraic Halpin Editing by Gareth Jones)