The median personal capital of households in the Netherlands was 27 thousand euros on 1 January 2012, a reduction by 10 percent relative to the beginning of 2011. Since the onset of the recession late 2008, the financial position of households has deteriorated continuously.
Home value depreciation and higher mortgage debt
Early 2008, the median personal capital of households still was 47 thousand euros, i.e. 20 thousand euros more than at the beginning of 2012. The value depreciation of privately-owned residential property (the main asset of households) largely accounts for the loss of personal capital. The value was reduced from 256 thousand euros early 2008 to 231 thousand euros early 2012. Approximately 57 percent of all households own the homes they live in.
At the same time, the household mortgage debt increased from 143 thousand euros early 2008 to 163 thousand euros early 2012. About 48 percent of households have mortgages on their homes.
Personal capital households, 1 January
More households in debt
Compared to the situation at the beginning of 2008, the number of households whose debts exceed their assets has grown dramatically. Early 2012, some 830 thousand households found themselves in this predicament, nearly 2.5 times as many as in 2008. The largest group of households (24 percent) owned a personal capital ranging from 0 to 5 thousand euros. This group has also grown in recent years. The number of households owning a personal capital of 100 thousand euros or more at the beginning of 2012 was reduced relative to early 2008. The number of households with a personal capital ranging between 200 thousand and 500 thousand euros was significantly reduced. Early 2012, 154 thousand households (2 percent) owned a personal capital of 1 million euros or more.
Households by personal capital amount, 1 January
Highest income bracket owns nearly one third of the overall amount
Nearly 30 percent the total capital of households is owned by the 10 percent of households in the highest income category. At the beginning of 2012, their median personal capital was 220 thousand euros. With 121 thousand euros, the median personal capital in the second highest income category was considerably lower. The 10 percent lowest incomes had a median personal capital of 1,500 euros. Their personal capital accounted for 7 percent of the overall amount.
Personal capital distribution by income category, 1 January 2012*
Noortje Pouwels-Urlings and Marion van den Brakel