Irish mortgage debt ratio highest in euro area, says CSO

CSO study provides key snapshot on financial status of Irish households

A CSO survey has revealed that the burden of debt carried by Irish mortgage holders relative to the value of their homes is the highest in the euro area.  Photograph: Frank Miller / THE IRISH TIMES

A CSO survey has revealed that the burden of debt carried by Irish mortgage holders relative to the value of their homes is the highest in the euro area. Photograph: Frank Miller / THE IRISH TIMES

 

The burden of debt carried by Irish mortgage holders relative to the value of their homes is the highest in the euro area. Dublin also has the lowest rate of home ownership in the State but the second-highest number of households carrying debt.

These are just some of the findings contained in the first Household Finance and Consumption Survey compiled by the Central Statistics Office (CSO). The report, which is based on data collected at the end of 2013, provides a snapshot of the financial wellbeing of Irish households after the economic crash.

It found the median or middle loan-to-value (LTV) ratio for owner-occupier mortgage holders here was 72.9 per cent, nearly twice the euro zone average of 37 per cent and more than 20 percentage points ahead of the next-highest country The Netherlands with 52.5 per cent.

Dublin commuter belt

In the mideast region, which takes in the Dublin commuter belt counties of Kildare, Meath, Westmeath and Wicklow, the figure rose to 90.7 per cent, the highest in regional terms. For households comprising one adult and children, the median LTV was 102.5 per cent, meaning well over 50 per cent of these households remain in negative equity.

For people under 35 the figure was even more stark at 116.8 per cent, compared with an LTV of just 16 per cent for over-65s.

The report found just over 70 per cent of Irish households owned their own main residence, while 10.8 per cent own land and 13.8 per cent own other property.

Though the rates of home ownership here are high, they are roughly in line with other EU states.

Home-ownership rates were the lowest in Dublin at 59.4 per cent and the highest in the Border region at 82.3 per cent.

The survey found 56.8 per cent of all households had some form of debt, with 33.9 per cent of all households having a mortgage on their main residence. The median debt of the mortgage

debt is €129,000 and it is €1,000 for overdrafts and €1,400 for credit cards.

Only 3.6 per cent of all households headed by a person aged 65 or older had a mortgage on the main residence, compared with just over 57 per cent of households headed by a person aged between 35 and 44.

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