National household debt declines in first quarter
Household debt stands at €37,572 per capita, its lowest level since the end of 2006
Household debt is now at its lowest level since the end of 2006. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/THE IRISH TIMES
The total net debt of all Irish households combined declined in the first three months of 2013 compared to the previous quarter, according to figures published by the central bank.
Household debt declined by €1.6bn in the first quarter to stand €172.3 billion or €37,572 per capita, its lowest level since the end of 2006.
However, the central bank noted that household debt sustainability indicators remained largely unchanged over the quarter despite the reduction in debt. Debt as a proportion of disposable income fell by just 0.1 percentage points, to 197.3 per cent, as the decline in debt was partly outstripped by a decrease in disposable income.
Separate figures show that in the second quarter of 2013 house prices were broadly stable as the mortgage interest relief effect wore off. This should mean that household balance sheet developments in the April-June quarter will be more stable.