We’re not as rich as we used to be – latest ABS stats

While we may not be as rich as we used to be, there are more millionaires in Australia reports Patrick Stafford in SmartCompany.

Quoting the latest report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics about Australian’s wealth and money habits he says…

In real terms, we’re not quite as rich as we used to be.

The ABS report shows “average” Australian households recorded a net standing of $728,000 in 2011-12. That’s down $30,000 from the two years prior.

However, it’s not all bad. As Craig James (ComSec) points out, over the past year home prices have risen by about 4% – so it’s likely we’re at an all-time high when it comes to measuring net worth.

And considering mean household net worth is up 24% since 2003, we seem to be doing okay.

…but we have more millionaires

The report shows more than 20% of families can be counted as “millionaires”, with their net worth above $1 million. According to James, that’s up 15% from just eight years ago.

As much as we like to complain about the economy, it’s clear many are still seeing the benefits of growth.

Tasmanians are more likely to own their homes outright

Australians consider ourselves a nation of home-owners, but really, we’re a nation of mortgage-holders – unless you live in Tasmania, that is.[sam id=38 codes=’true’]

The island-dwellers are the most likely to own their homes outright, at 35.3%. South Australia is just slightly behind at 33.9%, while the lowest proportion of owner-occupiers was in the Northern Territory, at just 16.5%.

Property is still in our DNA

But it’s true we’re still a nation of home owners. The value of the family home accounts for about 40% of household wealth, according to the ABS report.

Owner-occupied homes were the largest asset held by Australians, with more than two-thirds of the population owning a home outright or with a mortgage.

The distinction between those who buy and rent is clear: For owners, the average net worth was $790,000, while for those who rent, it was merely $160,000.

The middle class continues to grow

We’re seeing a lot more people rising out of the lower-income brackets now. According to the report, the proportion of people with wealth of up to $50,000 dropped from 14.6% to 12.7% during the eight years prior to 2011-12.

That’s a huge increase, and it’s a big deal for consumer-facing businesses: When the consumer spending pick-up occurs, there are plenty of companies waiting to benefit.

[post_ender]



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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who create wealth for their clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's been once agin been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit Metropole.com.au


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