A decade of house price inflation has catapulted Ireland into second place in the global wealth league, according to a new report from Bank of Ireland Private Banking.
The report published today shows that when the value of housing is taken into account Ireland's privately owned assets are now worth an average of €150,000 for every man, woman and child in the country. The report says that the bulk of this wealth has been created in the past decade alone.
The Japanese are the only people in the world wealthier than the Irish, according to the report, which values our houses and financial assets - like pensions, shares, and other investments - at almost €800 billion.
If €115 billion owed to banks for mortgages and other loans is subtracted, the result, is €680 billion. Property, however, accounts for three-quarters of this amount, a higher proportion than any other country. The massive property boom has resulted in a massive 350% increase in wealth in a decade.
Bank of Ireland says that even when the value of principal private residences is excluded, Ireland now has 30,000 millionaires. It estimates 300 of these have more than €30m each, while 2,700 people have between €5m and €30m apiece.