Own home main asset

In 2006, well before the credit crisis, Dutch households had assets worth a total 1,566 billion euro, most of which was accounted for by own homes. To offset these assets, the households had a total debt of 572 billion euro, leaving them a total net equity of 994 billion euro.

Over half of households own their home

More than half of Dutch households owned their home in 2006. On the basis of property taxes, these properties are estimated to have amounted to a total 923 billion euro. Outstanding mortgage debts on these properties totalled 510 billion euro. Nearly 7 percent of households also owned a second home, a holiday home and/or investments properties.

Households’ assets by type, 2006

Households’ assets by type, 2006

Most securities owned by over-45s

Nearly 9 out of 10 households had positive bank and savings balances, together worth 220 billion euro. Just over one quarter of households owned securities, shares and bonds, worth a total 258 billion euro.

Most securities were held by households with a main earner aged 45 years or older. Over-65s hold most securities: on average nearly 200 thousand euro.

The value of these securities rose in 2006 and 2007, but plummeted in 2008, ending up 16 percent down at the end of 2008 compared with the beginning of 2006. Indeed households owning securities will have been affected most by the credit crisis.

Distribution of households’ wealth in ten wealth groups, 2006

Distribution of households’ wealth in ten wealth groups, 2006

Just a few households account for most wealth

No less than 613 billion euro (62 percent) of the total wealth of households is owned by the 10 percent wealthiest households.

For the 10 percent least wealthy households on the other hand, their debts exceed their assets. They had a total negative equity of 49 billion euro; this is the equivalent of 70 thousand euro on average, and often a direct consequence of mortgages on own homes.

Jack Claessen