Household wealth reaches a record high

  • By Zilla Efrat

Total household wealth has jumped 35.3 per cent since the start of COVID-19 and is now sitting at a record high of $574,807 per capita, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Total household wealth grew by 1.2 per cent or $173 billion in the March quarter on the back of strong residential property prices to reach a record $14.9 trillion. Residential property assets contributed 1.4 percentage points to this growth.

“While the pace of property price growth started to moderate, with falls in Sydney and Melbourne this quarter, other capital cities and regional areas rose, resulting in an overall rise in house prices of 1.9 per cent nationally,” says Katherine Keenan, head of finance and wealth at the ABS.

Since March quarter 2020, wealth per capita has risen by $146,008. Households have accumulated $305 billion in currency and deposits since the start of the pandemic.

Residential property accounted for most of the growth in household wealth since the start of the pandemic, rising 39.9 per cent. Superannuation balances increased 22.5 per cent as share markets were supported by accommodative monetary policy.

Currency and deposits contributed 0.2 percentage points to growth in the March quarter, while superannuation balances and household loans both detracted 0.3 percentage points.

Superannuation balances declined 1.3 per cent this quarter as heightened uncertainty in global share markets weighed on the value of overseas assets held through superannuation funds.