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It’s official: Australia’s rich are getting richer. No such luck for those on the other end - featured image
By Michael Yardney

It’s official: Australia’s rich are getting richer. No such luck for those on the other end

On average Australian householders are millionaires.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ latest Household Income and Wealth Australia 2017-18 report Australia's average household wealth has passed the $1 million mark for the first time, up more than 37 per cent compared with a decade ago, thanks to property prices and surging superannuation balances.
But when you dig deeper you find that the average net worth of the top 20 per cent of households is more than 93 times that of the lowest 20 per cent.

In other words the wealthy Aussies are getting wealthier.


Just to make things clear...the rich became richer because they own assets - in particular real estate and superannuation.

Every two years, the ABS surveys Australians on their income and wealth and divides households into five groups from the lowest 20 per cent by income or wealth to the highest 20 per cent.

The survey shows high-wealth households increased their average net worth from $1.9 million in 2003-04 to $3.2 million in 2017-18. Wealth

Over the same period, middle-wealth households increased their average net worth by $148,700.

But low-wealth households have not experienced any real increase in net worth. Their average net worth of $35,200 in 2017-18 - less than $1000 higher than in 2003-04 - is equivalent to less than 1 per cent of all household wealth in Australia.

As I said - the disparity has been driven by the increase in property values and superannuation balances

The wealthiest households still hold more than 60 per cent of all household wealth, while the middle fifth control 11 per cent.

The ABS reported that wealth inequality increased over the past two years and is now at its highest level since the survey began in 1993-94.

The major driver of the inequality was property ownership.

Housing now makes up 57% of Australians' wealth, with 42 per cent coming from the family home and 15 per cent from investment properties.

Super now accounts for 18% of wealth, and the average household balance has grown to $213,700.

Although property prices have pulled back since their peak in 2017, they surged as much as 70 per cent in the preceding five years.

The proportion of households with debt also has risen slightly over the decade to 72.8 per cent from 72.2 per cent.

About Michael Yardney Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and one of Australia's 50 most influential Thought Leaders. His opinions are regularly featured in the media.
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