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Summary of Results

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  • The median net wealth value of Irish households is €178,400. This represents a 73.9% increase on the 2013 value of €102,600. 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 €178,400 (see statbank table HFC36).
  • Over two thirds (68.8%) of all households own their main residence, either with or without a mortgage, compared to 70.5% in 2013. The median value of the household main residence (HMR), for those households that own their HMR, is €250,000 which is significantly up from €150,000 in 2013 (see statbank table HFC01 and Table 2.1 below).
  • In 2013, 31.9% of all HMRs owned with a mortgage were in negative equity, whereas the 2018 rate is 4.1%
  • Over half (51.8%) of all households have some form of debt. This represents a five-percentage point decrease from the 2013 value of 56.8%. Overall, the median value of debt for households with any form of debt is €45,900, down over €17,000 from the 2013 value of €63,000 (see statbank table HFC15).
  • The proportion of credit constrained households dropped from 14.7% to 8.0% 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, or one that considered applying for credit but did not do so due to the perception that the application would be turned down (see statbank table HFC22).
  • The sustainability of debt has improved since 2013.
    • The median debt to asset ratio, (the ratio of total liabilities to total gross assets for households with debts), is 22.7%, down 15 percentage points from the 2013 ratio of 37.7%.
    • The debt to income ratio, (the ratio of total liabilities to total annual gross household income), is 65.9%, compared to 100.4% in 2013
    • 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 47.1% in 2018, versus 73.5% in 2013.  
  • Almost one third of households (32.6%) 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%) 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 (66.8%) 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 (94.9%) own some form of financial asset (e.g. savings, shares, voluntary pensions. For households that own financial assets the median value is €7,900 up from €6,300 in 2013 (see statbank table HFC08).
  • The Gini coefficient for net wealth, (a statistical measure of inequality), dropped from 0.75 in 2013 to 0.67 in 2018, indicating a reduction in wealth inequality over this five-year period (see Figure 8.1).
Table 2.1 Summary of results
 Households with asset/debt Median value 1
Real assets  
Household Main Residence (HMR)68.8250.0
Other Real Estate Property13.6240.6
Self Employment Business Wealth17.719.3
Any Real Asset95.8226.3
Financial assets  
Bond or Mutual funds10.010.0
Voluntary Pension15.849.6
Other Financial Asset5.910.0
Any Financial Asset94.97.9
Mortgage on HMR26.1124.9
Mortgage on Other Property7.3153.9
Non-mortgage loan30.46.2
Credit Card debt12.71.4
Any Debt51.845.9
1 Conditional on participation.

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