The net wealth of the Romanian population exceeded 2,000 billion lei (over 423 billion euro) last year, close to the maximum threshold registered a decade ago, in 2008, and the real estate assets had the highest share in the net wealth of the Romanians, of almost 80 percent, according to data from the Financial Stability Report published by the National Bank of Romania (BNR).
“The population’s balance sheet situation continued its positive trend in the period since the last report (December 2018). The net wealth of the population increased in 2018, approaching the maximum value recorded in 2008, after an increase of 9.7 percent in the last quarter of 2018 as compared to the same period of the previous year. The evolution was determined to a large extent by the increase in real estate assets, corroborated to a lesser extent, with that of the financial assets,” the document states.
The Romanians’ real estate assets amount to around 1,600 billion lei, while the net financial assets are slightly over 400 billion lei.
“Although Romania has the highest rate of real estate assets owned by the population in the European Union, there is still a high degree of wealth inequality, with the richest 10 percent of the households accounting for about 60 percent of the wealth. The level of inequality may thus increase, given that the gain in the value of non-financial assets will only benefit a small part of the population,” the report said.
The BNR states in its report that the population’s preference for safe investments in deposits and cash is still to be mentioned, of about 40 percent of the total assets in December 2018.
“A number of inequalities persist at the level of the banking saving: about 78 percent of the depositors own deposits of up to 5,000 lei, while 71 percent of the deposits are held by only about 5 percent of the depositors,” the BNR representatives said in the report.
In terms of public investment in government securities, they increased significantly at the end of 2018, by about 45 percent compared to December 2017, as the Treasury program was launched by the Ministry of Public Finance, allowing the population to directly subscribe for government securities with maturities between one and five years. However, they represent a small share in total assets, of only 1.4 percent, in December 2018, shows the BNR report.
The Romanians’ debts advanced 6.6 percent in the first quarter of this year, up to 151.7 billion lei, compared to the level recorded in the same period of the previous year, with the mortgage credit being responsible for the increase in the rise of the population’s indebtedness.