Belgians are "richest of the Eurozone"

Belgium's central bank, Nationale bank, has calculated that the combined wealth of all the Belgians totals 1,767 billion euros. This works out at 160,000 euros for every Belgian.

The figure is based on deposits on savings accounts and the value of Belgian real estate.

In all Belgians have 909.5 billion euros deposited on savings accounts or placed as investments. The value of investment portfolios is 15% up on the year. The money stashed away on savings accounts has also risen.

In addition the value of Belgian real estate has risen too. The real estate owned by Belgians is now worth 1,050 billion euros. But Belgians also have debts and owe 192.3 billion euros, chiefly as mortgages.

If these debts are included the wealth of all Belgians put together totals 1,767.2 billion euros. Including every Belgian child this works out at around 160,000 euros per Belgian.

Belgians are the most prosperous inhabitants of the Eurozone, but the gap between rich and poor is getting larger.

House prices rising faster than wages

Since 1995 Belgian real estate prices have been rising faster than wages. This is making it increasingly harder for young families to find an affordable home, especially if they do not receive any help from their family.

The future does not auger well for borrowers as interest rates are expected to rise. The European Central Bank's indicative rate is at an all time low of 1%, but a rate hike is on the cards this autumn. Anticipating this increase interest rates on variable and fixed mortgages could rise as early as this summer. Short-term interest rates that impact on the rates charged on variable mortgages have already risen.