A survey which compared households in Malta and the EU has found that  77.7% of households in Malta owned their residence in 2010, as opposed to 60.1% in the euro area.

And while the median value of the Maltese households’ main residence was estimated at €186,643, the median value in the euro area stood at €180,300.

The Central Bank survey found that while almost a third of Maltese households (31.4%) owned other forms of property, including second homes, garages, commercial premises and agricultural land, the corresponding proportion of euro area households was less than one-fourth (23.1%).

While the percentage ownership of vehicles was moderately higher for Maltese households, the share of households reporting business ownership was comparable with that reported for the euro area.

In contrast, Maltese households’ ownership of valuables was significantly lower.

Concurrently, more than 97% of Maltese households held some form of financial asset in 2010 with bank deposits being the predominant option. The next most commonly held financial asset category was that incorporating life insurance policies and voluntary pension schemes, with 24.2% of all house-holds reporting that they hold such assets.

Similarly, in the euro area, both the ownership of at least one type of financial asset as well as the portion of the households holding deposits was above 96%.

Additionally, a third of euro area households benefited from participation in a pension scheme or a life insurance policy cover.

There was a significant disparity in the holdings of debt securities. While 21.6% of Maltese households owned bonds, only 5.3% of euro area households held such assets.

On the other hand, 24.6% of Maltese households participated in voluntary pension schemes and life insurance policies, compared with 33.0% in the euro area.

The overall median value of financial asset holdings of Maltese households was estimated at €26,229, more than double the amount estimated for euro area households (€11,400).

Household debt

More than a third of Maltese households (34.1%) had some type of debtliability in 2010, with almost 16% of the sample having an out-standing mortgage loan to finance their main residence or other real estate.

Moreover, 25.2% of households had credit facilities to finance some form of consumption expenditure via credit cards, overdrafts and/or other consumer/private loans.

Indebtedness was relatively higher in the euro area, where survey results revealed that 43.7% of households had some type of debt liability, and that mortgage debt was extended to 23.1% of households. Non-mortgage debt, generally used to finance consumption, was taken up by 29.3% of households residing within the euro area.

The median value of total debt held by Maltese households was estimated at €15,700, as opposed to that of euro area households, which stood at €21,500.

In Malta, more than three-fourths of total household debt consisted of mortgages (mostly taken to finance the main place of residence).

The share of mortgages in total debt was estimated at 76.0% while the corresponding share int he euro area was  82.8%.

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