Record household wealth takes a breather

Property prices steady in Q1.

Dwelling prices steadied in the first quarter of 2016, as I looked at here in more detail here previously.


With share markets also down a notch in the first quarter, total household net worth ticked down marginally to $8,64 trillion.

It was the first such quarterly decline since September 2011.


Australians have about $4 trillion in net worth or equity tied up in housing.

Sounds like a lot, but then in the UK – where there is no compulsory superannuation – the share of housing wealth has been tracking at close to two thirds of total household net worth according to the Office for National Statistics.

Australia’s average net worth per capital therefore ticked to just a notch below $360,000, which is still exceptionally strong.


Gearing measures

On the matter of housing affordability, the interest payable to income ratio increased for a second successive quarter, although it remains 37 per cent below its 2008 peak.


Gearing ratios ticked a bit higher, both for mortgage debt to housing assets (28.6 per cent) and for debt to assets (20.5 per cent).


Overall, Q1 was a soft quarter for household net worth.

However, CoreLogic reported today that both Sydney houses (+6.8 per cent) and apartments (+6.7 per cent) surged in value in the June quarter, so household net worth will no doubt increase again in Q2.

Houses and units across the eight capital cities grew by +3.8 per cent and +3.7 per cent in the June quarter respectively.

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Pete Wargent


Pete Wargent is a Chartered Accountant, Chartered Secretary and has a Financial Planning Diploma. He’s achieved financial freedom at the age of 33 - as detailed in his book ‘Get a Financial Grip – A Simple Plan for Financial Freedom’. Pete now manages his investment portfolio, travels and works as a consultant in the finance industry from time to time. Visit his blog

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