Household net wealth exceeded €1 trillion here in the first quarter of this year reflecting higher property values and an excess of savings that some households built up during the pandemic.
That represented an increase of €19.6 billion in the three month period bringing household wealth to a record high, according to the Central Bank.
However, that does not reflect the day to day experience of most households where the rising cost of living has been eroding the real value of earnings and savings across the economy.
The value of housing assets reached a series high of €649 billion by the end of March, the Central Bank figures show – €19 billion above its previous peak of €630 billion at the end of last year.
The increase in the value of housing assets in the year to March was the highest revaluation on record with an increase of €95 billion, according to the regulator.
The growth in deposits and the increasing value of other financial assets have also been important contributors to growth in net wealth.
Following on from a surge in household deposits during the pandemic, gross household savings declined for the second quarter in a row in the opening months of the year.
They were down by almost a billion euro to stand at €7.2 billion – still quite elevated when compared to pre-pandemic levels.
“The decline in savings was driven partly by a decline in the total disposable income of households over the quarter and an increase in consumer spending. The latter due to inflation rather than households consuming more goods and services, with final consumption after adjusting for inflation decreasing over the quarter,” the regulator explained in the report.