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Household wealth soars by 80% since 2013 on rising property prices – CSO

Household wealth has recovered by over 80% since 2013, mainly due to the recovery in the property market. 

The finding is contained in the Household Finance and Consumption Survey published by the Central Statistics Office today.   

The survey also finds a wide disparity in wealth between the top 10% and bottom 10% of households. 

There are 1.8 million households in Ireland and this major survey of 5,000 households paints a picture of how wealth is distributed across our society. 

The wealthiest 10% have a net wealth of greater than €835,000, while the least wealthy 10% have a net wealth of less than €1,000.

The CSO said 69.5% of households own their own homes. 

It said that the median, or mid-point, of the value of households’ main property has risen from €150,000 in 2013 to €250,000 in 2018.

This has led to an overall 80.2% increase in median net household wealth – on paper at least.

The CSO explained that the median value is obtained by arranging all households in ascending order from the smallest to the largest value and then selecting the middle value. 

In terms of wealth, the median provides a truer reflection of the average household as it is not influenced by extreme values, it added. 

The net wealth of households that own their own home is €287,300 compared to renters’ whose net wealth averages just €5,900.

The survey found that households with the highest net wealth are found in the eastern and midlands region. 

It also found that just over two-thirds (67.6%) of the wealthiest households received a substantial gift or inheritance while just over 10% of the poorest households did. 

Today’s survey also reveals that 31.9% of all homeowners with a mortgage were in negative equity in 2013, but that rate fell substantially to stand at 3.9% in 2018.

But 51.5% of all households had some form of debt in 2018, a slight decrease from 56.8% in 2013. 

Overall, the median value of debt for households with any form of debt is €42,300, down over €20,000 from the 2013 value of €63,000.

The CSO also said that the proportion of “credit constrained households” dropped from 14.7% to 7.9% between 2013 and 2018. 

A credit-constrained household is one that applied for credit and was turned down or received less credit than the amount applied for.

It also includes households that had considered applying for credit but did not do so due to the perception that the application would be turned down.

And more than nine out of every ten households (94.3%) own some form of financial asset, including savings, shares and voluntary pensions). 

For households that own financial assets the median value is €7,900 up from €6,300 in 2013, the CSO said.

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