More than a third of households have received at least one inheritance or significant gift with the midpoint value of intergenerational wealth transfers standing at €80,200, new figures show.

Publishing fresh data from its 2020 survey of housing finance and consumption, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) found that one in five households had received money as an inheritance or gift. A further 8 per cent had inherited or were gifted their home, while 7 per cent had received a dwelling other than their home and 7 per cent had received land. A small proportion, just 1 per cent, had received business assets, securities or shares, life insurance and valuables.

The CSO publication, Intergenerational Transfer of Wealth 2020, found that older, wealthier, homeowning individuals were more likely to receive transfers of wealth through inheritance or gifts from an older generation than younger, less well-off people who rented their homes. Homeowners were more than twice as likely as renters to have received an intergenerational transfer, with 44 per cent of homeowners benefiting, compared with just 18 per cent of renters. Some 63 per cent of the richest 20 per cent of households received an intergenerational transfer, whereas just 16 per cent of households among the least wealthy 20 per cent of households have. Older households were more likely to have received an intergenerational transfer with 46 per cent of households where the recipient is aged between 55 and 64 receiving at least one inheritance. This compared with 27 per cent of households where the recipient was aged under 35. Households were more likely to receive wealth transfers from their parents with 70 per cent of those who had received transfers inheriting or being gifted an asset by their parents.

Highest value

These inheritances or gifts had the highest value with a median inheritance value of €100,600 and gift value of €20,300. The median value of inheritances among recipient households was €99,200, more than six times the value of gifts, which was €15,900. The value of inheritances and gifts were substantially higher for older households. The median transfer value for the household where the recipient was aged 65 and over was €109,600, compared with €15,000 for the household where the person was under 35 years of age.

The likelihood of having received an inheritance or gift also increases if the household has a higher level of education or a higher income. The net wealth of households that received an intergenerational transfer was €334,100 compared with €133,100 for households that had not received a transfer. Four in 10 households, or 41 per cent, where the recipient had a third-level degree or higher received an intergenerational transfer compared to three in 10, or 32 per cent, where the highest level of education in the household was primary school or below. One in five households expect to receive an inheritance or gift in future.

Younger households and those with higher education have higher expectations of receiving an inheritance or gift in the future, whereas households with debt were twice as likely to expect a future intergenerational transfer compared to those without debt.

Source: Simon Carswell, Irish Times

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