Family wealth increased in the second quarter thanks to higher stock and property prices and record purchases of mutual funds.
The total net worth of Belgians grew by 57 billion euros between the end of March and the end of June to a record amount of 2.896 billion. De Tijd calculated this based on figures from the National Bank and Statbel. Both financial and real estate assets grew.
The value of all savings and investments without real estate increased by nearly $31 billion. Just over half of that increase was due to rising stock markets. As a result, the Belgians recorded significant capital gains in their investment portfolio. In particular, the value of their portfolios increased with mutual funds (6.6 billion), unlisted stocks (4.4 billion) and listed stocks (3.4 billion). On average, about half of mutual fund assets are made up of stocks.
In addition, households have invested 14.7 billion in savings and investment products, in part because measures against the spread of the coronavirus have made it difficult to spend a lot of money. The Belgians bought investment funds for a record amount of 9.9 billion euros. More and more savers are not satisfied with the low return of their savings account and therefore they have started investing. Mutual funds are often the first step.
However, families remain relatively cautious. They also put large amounts of new money into checking accounts (4.1 billion) and savings accounts (3.5 billion). Single stocks are still a bridge too far for many citizens. Families bought only €288 million net listed shares.
Families also put billions of new money into checking and savings accounts.
Household debt rose by $5.1 billion. Mortgage loans in particular increased. The sharp rise in real estate prices means that many home buyers are forced to borrow more. But it also leads to an increase in real estate. Real estate assets increased by about $31 billion.
If we divide the total net worth by the number of Belgians, the average citizen owns 250,900 euros. It is the first time that the €250,000 mark has been crossed.
The important caveat is that average wealth is greatly enhanced by the wealth of millionaires. About two-thirds of households own less than average household wealth and a third more, according to research by the National Bank. The average wealth – the wealth of the “middle” Belgian – is about 150 thousand euros.
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