Increasing house prices make Dutch wealthier

houe for sale/sold sign

The average wealth of Dutch households increased by almost 10 percent in 2016, Statistics Netherlands reported on Wednesday based on new figures. This is mainly due to increasing house prices. Dutch without their own home did not see a wealth increase in that year, according to the stats office.

Nearly three in five households owned their home in 2016. An owned home formed the largest part of household's assets at 57 percent, followed by savings. Mortgage was also the largest debt item of Dutch households that year, making up 86 percent of the average household's debt. 

The total assets of all Dutch households amounted to 1,157 billion euros in 2016. Adjusted for price developments, this was still over 20 percent lower than before the financial crisis hit in 2008. The number of households that have more debts than assets declined - 1.7 million households had a negative equity in 2016, 107 thousand fewer than in 2015.

In 2016 the number of millionaire households - with a wealth of 1 million euros or more - increased by 9 thousand to 167 thousand households. The average millionaire household had assets of 1.5 million euros. The proportion of millionaire households increase with age, from 0.1 percent in the age group 25 years to 3.8 percent among 65- to 75-year-olds. 

With an average wealth of 280.7 thousand euros, Laren in Noord-Holland was the wealthiest municipality in 2016. The top 10, however, is dominated by small municipalities in Noord-Brabant. Sint Anthonis, Alphen-Chaam, Oirschot, Haaren, Reusel-De Mierden, and Hilvarenbeek all fall in the top ten. According to the stats office, this is because these municipalities are home to many elderly households who built up considerable wealth during their lives.

Households in the large cities have a lower average wealth. Rotterdam came out at the bottom with an average wealth of 1,900 euros per household. The Hague and Amsterdam were also in the bottom ten with the lowest household wealth. Only Utrecht did not make it into the 10 least wealthy municipalities, but here too the average household wealth was much lower than the top 10 wealthiest municipalities. The average Utrecht household was worth 5,700 euros in 2016. According to Statistics Netherlands, relatively many young people, welfare recipients, and people with a non-Western migrant background live in the large cities. These groups usually have little wealth.