Central Bank figures show €400m in household debt written down over fourth quarter of 2012

Wednesday 08 May 2013 19.19
Household debt compared to disposable income is now at its lowest level since 2006
Household debt compared to disposable income is now at its lowest level since 2006

The level of Irish household debt fell over the final three months of 2012 due, in part, to €400m worth of loans being written down by financial institutions.

The Central Bank's latest financial accounts, for the final quarter of last year, show household debt fell by €2.9 billion during the period to €173.9 billion.

The 1.7% fall in debt levels was the biggest quarterly decline since the second quarter of 2010. Repayments of €1.8 billion were made between October and December 2012 by Irish households.

The reduction in household indebtedness means the ratio of debt to disposable income, which is considered a key measure of how sustainable the debt burden is, fell to  201.6%. 

The debt sustainability ratio peaked at just over 221% in 2010.

Household debt in Ireland is still high by international standards. The total figure of €173.9 billion equates to €37,928 on a per capita basis.