Staggering amount Australians need to be well off financially


The staggering amount of cash an Australian needs to even be well off as the rich get ricer – but the border closure could help you close the gap

  • Australian couples with less than $467,709 in assets have below average wealth 
  • Sydney house prices have surged by 15.1 per cent since the start of January 2021
  • The Australian share market reached a fresh record high on Friday despite Covid 

An Australian needs to have more than $467,709 in assets to even have above average wealth, let alone be rich.

Online broker CommSec has calculated the average wealth for Australian couples, accounting for the equity in their homes, money in the bank, shares and assets they own like cars.

Per capita wealth, or the average amount for every Australian household minus what they owe the bank, has been rising in tandem with the surge in property and share prices.

CommSec chief economist Craig James said the closure of Australia’s border to foreigners since March last year made Australians richer.

An Australian needs to have more than $467,709 in assets to even be considered rich. Pictured are women at the Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney

An Australian needs to have more than $467,709 in assets to even be considered rich. Pictured are women at the Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney

‘The two key drivers of wealth are prices of homes and equities,’ he said.

‘But asset prices more generally have been rising in the low interest rate environment, such as the prices of used cars. 

‘The closure of foreign borders has also served to boost demand for local assets.’

Since the start of January, Sydney’s median house price has climbed by 15.1 per cent to a record $1.186 million, CoreLogic data showed.

But Australia’s most expensive city was far from the only place to benefit from record-low interest rates with house and apartment prices together, during 2021 so far, climbing by 10.1 per cent to $634,355.

The growth in real estate values has occurred in both capital cities and regional areas, with records in May set in 66 of Australia’s 88 property sub markets based on local council areas.

Share investors have also benefited since the Australian Securities Exchange crashed and bottomed out in March last year, at the start of the pandemic.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 on Monday hit a new record high of 7,295.4 points on Friday.

Since the start of January, Sydney's median house price has climbed by 15.1 per cent to a record $1.186million, CoreLogic data showed. Pictured is a much more expensive house at Killara on Sydney's Upper North Shore

Since the start of January, Sydney's median house price has climbed by 15.1 per cent to a record $1.186million, CoreLogic data showed. Pictured is a much more expensive house at Killara on Sydney's Upper North Shore

Since the start of January, Sydney’s median house price has climbed by 15.1 per cent to a record $1.186million, CoreLogic data showed. Pictured is a much more expensive house at Killara on Sydney’s Upper North Shore

Used cars, which usually depreciate in value, unexpectedly increased in price as Covid restrictions and a global shortage of computer chips hampered the supply of new cars. 

In May, average used car prices were 47.4 per cent higher compared with a year earlier, Datium Insights data showed.  

Despite the global Covid pandemic, the National Australia Bank’s business conditions index for May hit a record high.

Share investors have also benefited since the Australian Securities Exchange crashed and bottomed out in March last year, at the start of the pandemic. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 on Monday hit a new record high of 7,295.4 points on Friday

Share investors have also benefited since the Australian Securities Exchange crashed and bottomed out in March last year, at the start of the pandemic. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 on Monday hit a new record high of 7,295.4 points on Friday

Share investors have also benefited since the Australian Securities Exchange crashed and bottomed out in March last year, at the start of the pandemic. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 on Monday hit a new record high of 7,295.4 points on Friday

Online broker CommSec has calculated the average wealth for Australian couples, accounting for the equity in their homes, money in the bank, shares and assets they own like cars

Online broker CommSec has calculated the average wealth for Australian couples, accounting for the equity in their homes, money in the bank, shares and assets they own like cars

Online broker CommSec has calculated the average wealth for Australian couples, accounting for the equity in their homes, money in the bank, shares and assets they own like cars

Trading, profitability, forward orders and employment were at the best levels since the monthly NAB series began in March 1997.

On the mortgage front, the era of fixed home loans with rates below 2 per cent is gradually ending with Westpac on Tuesday raising its two-year fixed rate by 0.1 percentage points to 2.09 per cent.

The Commonwealth Bank last month raised its three-year fixed rate to 2.19 per cent.

Canstar’s group executive of financial services Steve Mickenbecker said the era of record-low mortgage rates was fading.

‘Increases to fixed rates by a second major bank is a strong signal that the interest rate cycle is turning,’ he said.

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