Irish households now wealthier than during Celtic Tiger peak

Irish households have the fourth highest debt levels in Europe

Irish households now wealthier than during Celtic Tiger peak

Central Bank. Photo: RollingNews.ie

The average Irish household is now wealthier than at the peak of the Celtic Tiger – despite having some of the highest debt levels in Europe.

The Central Bank says the rise in 'household net worth' is largely due to increasing house prices.

The figure has risen 69% since its lowest level in 2012.

Experts have warned that much of the 'wealth' is in the hands of people who have benefited from the rise in property values over the years.

It means debts tend to be higher among the younger population.

In the year to November 2017, residential property prices rose by 11.6% nationally.

Mark Cassidy, Director of Economics and Statistics at the Central Bank of Ireland, said:  “The new peak in household net worth reflects both an increase in residential house prices as well as significant debt reduction by households over the last number of years.”

Meanwhile Irish household debt levels have dropped to an average of just over €29,000 per person.

The figure is the lowest since early 2004 – however it makes Irish households the fourth most indebted in the European Union.

Debt as a proportion of disposable income has fallen by 2.5 percentage points, to 136.9%.

Household net worth rose by 2.1% in the final quarter of last year.