The March quarter results of the St.George-Melbourne Institute Household Financial Conditions Report show 45.3% of Australians are currently managing to save, with 12.4% indicating that they were able to save ‘a lot’.
The positive start to the year has seen the index rise to 124.4 (up 2.5% from the previous quarter) and the group which saw the greatest improvement in conditions was 18-24 year olds, with a 36.1% improvement since December, 2012.
St.George Bank chief economist, Hans Kunnen, says the younger age bracket’s improved financial position is likely due to them picking up work after the Christmas break.
“We’re generally seeing a spring in the step of Australian households, with close to half of the population (45.3%) managing to end the quarter with savings, which is a great start to the year. All states have seen an improvement in household financial conditions, with New South Wales leading the charge with a 3.8% increase.”
On the housing front, the level of outright home ownership rose considerably across all states, with the national figure of respondents who own their home rising to 45.6% (an increase from 40.2% recorded in December).
“Improved household financial conditions may have allowed some Australians to make greater contributions to their mortgages, and others to actually pay off their homes entirely. The increased ability to do so may be the result of the strong performance of the share market we have seen so far this year, as well as lower interest rates - factors which are also likely contributors to the overall confidence being felt across the board.”