Pete Wargent blogspot

CEO AllenWargent Property Buyers, & WargentAdvisory (institutional). 6 x finance author.

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Friday, 31 March 2017

Household wealth burns up to $9.4 trillion

$1 trillion in cash

Household wealth increased by $328.1 billion to $9.4 trillion in the December quarter, largely thanks to the surge in Sydney and Melbourne house prices previously reported by the ABS

I read an article last week which noted that there is 'record' credit card debt, but the truth is that personal credit growth is actually negative and the household savings rate is very much in positive territory. 

Moreover, currency & deposits have been piling up to the extent that Aussie households are now sitting on a 'cash' pile exceeding $1 trillion for the first time ever.

There's some more good news for households in the post in early 2017 too, with the ASX recovering to glance a two-year high, and dwelling prices rising further. 

Australia's average net worth on a per capita basis rose to about A$387,000 in 2016, though truthfully whether you have experienced these gains was dependent on whether or not you own property.  

Even after accounting for the sharp decline in the Aussie dollar since the peak of the resources construction boom, this means that you have the Swiss and then Aussies are pretty much next up in terms of global household wealth. 

The build up in household debt has been well enough documented, but with capital pouring in from overseas and dwelling prices being set at the margin, residential real estate asset values have torn higher again in Q4 2016.

The net result from a headline perspective is that gearing ratios are in decline again, with the household debt to assets ratio now easing back below 20 per cent. 

The derived interest payable to income ratio increased from 9.9 per cent to 10.1 per cent, indicating that the proportion of household gross disposable income required to meet interest payments increased slightly in the quarter.

Despite this increase the relative decline in the mortgage burden in recent years has allowed incumbent homeowners to build up record mortgage buffers. 

It's been something of a rollercoaster decade with a share market crash and slow recovery, yet household net worth has more than doubled since 2005.