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Summary of Results

The Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS) 2018 was published on 30 January 2020. Data within the publication were revised on 4th June 2020. These data revisions were due to the re-calibration of weights used in the estimation of HFCS statistics. Data within the publication were revised again on 16 May 2023. These data revisions were primarily due to the supplementing of survey data with the Central Credit Register, an administrative data source obtained by the CSO in 2021. All content relating to HFCS 2018, including the Electronic Publication text, graphs and tables, Infographic, Press Release and PxStat tables, now reflect the revised data.  Details as to the extent and impact of these revisions on previously published data can be found in the HFCS 2018 Revisions Information Note.

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  • The median net wealth value of Irish households is €159,100. The median net wealth value, (defined as gross wealth less debt), is obtained by arranging all households in ascending order from the smallest to the largest value and then selecting the middle value. Therefore, half of all households have a net wealth value less than €159,100 (see PxStat table HFC2036).
  • Over two thirds (68.8%) of all households own their main residence, either with or without a mortgage. The median value of the household main residence (HMR), for those households that own their HMR, is €250,000 (see PxStat table HFC2001 and Table 2.1 below).
  • In 2018, 6.7% of all HMRs owned with a mortgage were in negative equity.
  • Almost three in four (71.8%) of all households have some form of debt. Overall, the median value of debt for households with any form of debt is €21,400 (see PxStat table HFC2015).
  • The proportion of credit constrained households is 9.7% in 2018. A credit-constrained household is one that applied for credit and was turned down or received less credit than the amount applied for, or one that considered applying for credit but did not do so due to the perception that the application would be turned down (see PxStat table HFC2022).
  • The sustainability of debt is measured in the HFCS:
    • The median debt to asset ratio, (the ratio of total liabilities to total gross assets for households with debts), is 22.2%.
    • The debt to income ratio, (the ratio of total liabilities to total annual gross household income), is 38.9%.
    • For households that have a mortgage on their HMR, the median loan to value ratio, (the ratio of the outstanding amount of the HMR mortgage to the current value of the HMR), is 48.3%.  
  • Almost one third of households (32.1%) reported that they had been the beneficiary of an inheritance or a substantial gift at some time in the past. However, this varied by net wealth decile with one in ten (10.2%) households in the first net wealth decile (the 10% of households with the lowest net wealth) reporting that they had received a substantial gift or inheritance, compared to almost seven in ten (66.6%) households in the top decile (the 10% of households with the highest net wealth) (see Figure 5.3).
  • More than nine out of every ten households (94.8%) own some form of financial asset (e.g. savings, shares, voluntary pensions. For households that own financial assets, the median value is €7,800 (see PxStat table HFC2008).
  • The Gini coefficient for net wealth, (a statistical measure of inequality), was 70 in 2018 (see Figure 8.1).
Table 2.1 Summary of results1
 Households with asset/debt Median value 2
Real assets
Household Main Residence (HMR)68.8250.0
Other Real Estate Property12.9200.6
Self Employment Business Wealth17.318.6
Any Real Asset95.6222.7
Financial assets
Bond or Mutual funds10.310.0
Voluntary Pension15.847.5
Other Financial Asset6.610.0
Any Financial Asset94.87.8
Mortgage on HMR29.9128.5
Mortgage on Other Property9.4105.4
Non-mortgage loan46.46.6
Credit Card debt39.81.0
Any Debt71.821.4
1 The data on this table was updated on 16/05/2023. Please see information note for details.
2 Conditional on participation.