Swiss bank reveals Ireland has 125,000 dollar millionaires

Credit Suisse says average wealth figure for Irish adults 15th among over 200 countries

The average Irish adult’s wealth increased by 7.8% to $248,466 (€210,716), amid rising house prices and financial investments, according to Credit Suisse data. Photograph: Getty Images

The average Irish adult’s wealth increased by 7.8% to $248,466 (€210,716), amid rising house prices and financial investments, according to Credit Suisse data. Photograph: Getty Images

 

The Republic’s number of dollar millionaires grew by 15,000 last year as the average Irish adult’s wealth rose by 7.8 per cent to $248,466 (€210,716), amid rising house prices and financial investments, according to data from Credit Suisse.

Some 125,000 adults in Ireland now qualify as millionaires in dollar terms, according to data published online by the Swiss banking group following the publication last week of its keenly-followed Global Wealth Report 2017.

Additional figures provided by Credit Suisse to The Irish Times show the group expects the rate of wealth growth by the average Irish adult to slow down to an average annual rate of 3.6 per cent over the next five years.

Non-financial wealth, mainly comprised of property, increased 6.7 per cent in the 12 months to the end of June, to an average of $175,515, while financial wealth, including savings and pensions, expanded at a similar pace to $124,580. The figures were boosted by a 3 per cent increase in the value of the euro against the dollar during the period.

Average debts increased by 7 per cent to $51,629, down from almost $88,000 in 2007. However, borrowings per adult are expected to expand by 39 per cent over the next five years, to almost $72,000.

The average wealth figure for Irish adults ranks 15th among more than 200 countries analysed by Credit Suisse.

Median wealth

The median wealth per Irish adult – giving a better picture than the average, which is distorted by a concentration of wealth among high-net-worth individuals – stood at $84,592, up 10 per cent on the year.

“There’s a genuine fiscal bounce that’s come through not just in the numbers [but in] how people behave and feel,” said Michael O’Sullivan, chief investment officer  of international wealth management at Credit Suisse. “The economy is actually in decent shape, though I find that people in Ireland are highly obsessed with Brexit – more than in the UK.”

The concentration of 33 per cent of Ireland’s wealth in the hands of the wealthiest 1 per cent compares to almost 32 per cent for Europe as a whole and 50 per cent for the world. Some 65.8 per cent of the wealth in the State is held by the wealthiest 10 per cent, slightly below rates of 69.1 per cent for Europe and 87.8 per cent for the world.

“In general terms, throughout the 12 months to mid-2017, we observed a significant increase in wealth across the globe, driven not only be equity markets, but also by significant increases in non-financial wealthy,” said Credit Suisse in the latest wealth report. “In total, global wealth has grown by less than $16.7 trillion to $280 trillion, which correspondents to a rise of 6.4 per cent.”

However, the report also showed that 3.5 billion people, or 70 per cent of all adults in the world, own less than $10,000.

“Those with low wealth tend to be disproportionately found among the younger age groups, who have had little chance to accumulate assets,” it said.