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Rolling in it - the richest counties in Ireland are...

Latest figures from the CSO highlight worrying levels of indebtedness in the east of the country…

Image: Shutterstock/TijanaM

THE RICHEST HOUSEHOLDS in Ireland (after debt) are to be found in the south-east of the country, according to the Central Statistics Office’s Household and Finance Consumption Survey 2013 which was released today.

The average net household wealth in counties Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford, Waterford and South Tipperary is €259,000, some €20,000 greater than the next wealthiest region, the mid-west (counties Clare and Limerick).

Net Wealth Source: CSO

On the other end of the scale, the households with the least net wealth on average are in the west of the country (Galway, Mayo and Roscommon) where the figure comes to €186,000.

The border region (Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Louth, Monaghan and Sligo) is the only other combined area to have an average of less than €200,000.

Net wealth is a calculation of values of all real and financial assets (houses and savings respectively for example) minus all debt (mortgages and other loans).

While the average of the Dublin region is firmly in mid-table in relation to the rest of the country, the vast majority of wealth in Ireland is still concentrated in and around the capital with 28.3% of the total share.

Wealth Dist Source: CSO

This makes a degree of sense given the skewed population ratio in favour of Dublin but the figure still qualifies as almost twice the share of wealth of the next wealthiest region, the South-West (Cork and Kerry). 

The lowest concentration of wealth in the country is in midlands counties Laois, Longford, Offaly and Westmeath. Just 7% of Ireland’s debt-free money is concentrated there.

On the other side of the coin, the most indebted area of the country as a ratio to income is the mid-east region, or counties Meath, Kildare and Wicklow. The total for this area of 171% debt-to-income which suggests large loans that are unlikely to be serviced in full.

The best score from a debt point of view is in counties Cork and Kerry who rank just 65% debt as a proportion of income.

The state average for debt to income is 100.4% which firmly ranks us as a country used to living on credit.

Negative equity seems to be less of a problem than might be expected. The ratio of loan to value for principal residence mortgages stood at 73%.

Meath, Kildare and Wicklow again ranked worst from the point of view of mortgage loans to value, with a score of 91%.

Read: Irish people easily have the worst mortgage debts in the eurozone

Read: Going up: Irish property prices rose by 16.3% in 2014

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