Friday 13 December 2019

Household debt levels rise for second time since the crash

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Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

THE debts of households have risen for only the second time since the economic crash.

Central Bank figures show what it calls a marginal rise of €76m in the household debt in the July-to-September period last year.

Householders were making huge strides to reduce their debts over the last decade, but there appears to have been a pause in the debt-reduction at the end of last year.

This marked only the second increase in debt since the end of 2008, which was the peak of the boom.

Debts of consumers stood at €141.8bn, or €29,592 per head.

Household debt has decreased by over 30pc since its peak of €204.2bn near the end of 2008.

The net worth of households has risen slightly. This is the sum of housing and financial assets, minus debts.

Household net worth rose by 4pc, which works out at €27.1bn. This largely reflected increases in housing assets of €25.6bn, as house prices continue to rise at double-digit levels each year.

A further increase in financial assets of €1.5bn also contributed towards the increase in net worth, while liabilities remained largely unchanged.

By the end of the third quarter of last year, net worth stood at €712.4bn, the equivalent of €148,655 per head.

Irish households are the fourth-most indebted in the European Union.

Irish Independent

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