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'Irish families getting richer'

IRISH families are getting richer and household budgets are better balanced since 2006, according to the Central Bank.

We have more savings and assets and our debt levels are falling down, the latest financial accounts said.

The net worth of households has increased by 1pc to €461.6bn in the last quarter of 2012. The average wealth of an Irish household now stands at €100,674.

The level of Irish household debt fell over the final three months of 2012 due, in part, to €400m worth of loans being written down by financial institutions.

Household debt fell by €2.9bn during the period to €173.9bn.

The 1.7pc fall in debt levels was the biggest quarterly decline since the second quarter of 2010.

However, the Central Bank's quarterly financial accounts for the fourth quarter of 2012 also show that household debt in Ireland is still high by international standards – the total figure of €173.9bn equates to €37,928 on a per capita basis.