Debt levels at 7-year low

The net worth of Irish households increased due the largest rise in house prices since 2007 and a fall in household debt which combined to give a per capita household worth of more than €100,000.

The Central Bank quarterly financial accounts reported that Irish households net worth grew by more than €6bn.

“Household net worth resumed an upward trend during Q2 2013, increasing by €6.5bn to stand at €471.6bn. This corresponded to a net worth of €102,852 per capita. The increase in net worth largely reflected a rise in the value of housing assets of 2.3%. This was the largest quarterly increase to the value of housing assets since Q1 2007,” the report said.

Household debt has fallen to its lowest level in almost seven years, according to the figures from the Central Bank.

Debt levels fell €1.7bn in the second quarter of 2013 to €170.3bn.

Household debt has fallen to its lowest level since 2006, declining from a peak of more than €200bn at the end of 2008.

The combination of the two factors have made the household debts burden more sustainable. The report pointed to a marginal improvement in debt as a proportion of disposable income. There was a 1.1% decline over the quarter leaving debt to stand at 198.3% of disposable income.

There was a decline in the debts of non-financial corporations of €357m during the quarter. Although non-financial corporation debts fell to their lowest since the end of 2010, they remain Europe’s second most indebted at 219% of GDP.

“Irish NFCs continued to be the second most indebted in the EU during Q2 2013. Luxembourg had the most indebted NFC sector amounting to 312.1% of GDP,” the report noted.

Total Government liabilities continued on an upward trend during Q2 2013, reaching €229bn. This represented an increase of 0.06%.


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