Australian property owners now own 94% of the country’s household wealth (research)

Richard Whitten 13 November 2017 NEWS

Graph with house

New research by Roy Morgan illustrates the stark wealth gap between Aussies who own homes and those who don't.

Despite rising debt, Australian household wealth has increased 42.1% from $5.7 trillion to $8.1 trillion over the last four years, according to research firm Roy Morgan's Superannuation and Wealth Management in Australia report. Home equity is the major driver of this growth.

As of September 2017, 53.1% of Australian household wealth comes from equity in owner-occupied homes. In 2013, it was 48.1%. Other types of wealth, such as superannuation and savings accounts, have declined as a proportion of overall wealth.

But the most striking findings come when examining owner-occupier wealth in comparison to other Australians.

According to Roy Morgan Industry Communications Director, Norman Morris, "people living in owner-occupied homes account for only 65.2% of the population" but hold far more of the country's wealth. Owner-occupiers own the following:

  • 85% of all superannuation funds
  • 86.9% of all bank deposits
  • 89.7% of all direct investments
  • Overall, homeowners have 94.4% of total household wealth

What's left for Australians who don't own their homes? That's 34.8% of the population and they own just 5.6% of total household wealth.

Homeowners own the vast majority of assets even in categories that aren't directly related to the family home: investments, bank deposits and superannuation. According to Morris, "Those people not in their own home have not made up for it by investing elsewhere, as shown by the fact that they have less in other investments compared to owner-occupiers."

The survey consisted of 50,000 interviews and examined superannuation and wealth of Australian households by looking at all assets and debts to get a truer picture of Australia's finances.

While investor lending has declined in recent months and the number of first home buyers is increasing, it's clear that many in Australia are being left behind as wealth from the property boom translates into greater wealth in all sectors.

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