Household wealth to top $1m, housing market drives growth

by 13 Jan 2014

Average household wealth hit record figures in 2013, and is expected to surpass the $1m mark by early 2017.

According to figures compiled by consultancy firm Outlook Economics housing wealth rose to a record $872,000 in the last year.

Surging house prices, rising equity markets and an entrenched savings culture are behind the rise, Outlook Economics director Peter Downs told the AFR.

“If you look over the last 10 years since the mining boom began, almost two trillion dollars has been added to household wealth in constant price terms,” said Downes.

Housing balance sheets have been steadily rising since March 2009, the Outlook Economics figures show.

Average household wealth rose $50,000, or 6 per cent, at current market prices over the year and about $29,000, or 3.6 per cent, in inflation-adjusted constant price terms.

Forecasts are for household wealth to reach $919,000 by the end of this year and top $1 million by March 2017 if current market conditions continue.

A strong housing market was a driving force behind the change, with RP Data-Riskmark figures showing the housing market grew 9.8% in 2013. This was the fastest annual growth rate since 2010 and the largest calendar year increase in values since 2009.

The median dwelling price now sits at $540,000.