6554.0 - Household Wealth and Wealth Distribution, Australia, 2011–12  
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APPENDIX 4 COMPARISON OF WEALTH BETWEEN SIH AND THE AUSTRALIAN SYSTEM OF NATIONAL ACCOUNTS


INTRODUCTION

This publication contains estimates of the wealth of Australian households compiled from data collected in the Survey of Income and Housing (SIH). The SIH estimates of wealth are compiled from information collected from individual households, and are used to analyse the distribution of household wealth across the population and to compare levels of wealth between various population subgroups. These analyses support the development, implementation and evaluation of social and economic policies, particularly for potentially disadvantaged groups such as pensioners, one-parent families and the unemployed.

The Australian System of National Accounts (ASNA) also provides estimates of wealth for the household sector as a whole. The ASNA estimates of income are compiled from many sources, most of which do not provide information for different population subgroups within the household sector. The ASNA is designed to provide a systematic summary of economic activity of the Australian economy and to present a statistical picture of the structure of the economy and the detailed processes that make up domestic production and its distribution. Within the national accounting framework, the data show how the household sector relates to the corporate and government sectors in Australia and enables comparison with the rest of the world.

As the SIH and ASNA estimates of household wealth have been developed for different purposes, there are a number of differences in the resulting estimates of wealth. This appendix compares wealth data from the two collections and describes and quantifies some of the main scope, definitional and methodological differences between them.


Data used in comparisons

Wealth data from the SIH and ASNA are presented for the years 2003-04, 2005-06, 2009-10, and 2011-12 (Tables A3 and A4).

Comprehensive information about the assets and liabilities was collected from Australian Households in the 2003-04, 2005-06, 2009-10, and 2011-12 SIH. The SIH is conducted throughout the financial year and respondents are asked to report the value of their assets and liabilities at the time they are surveyed. Therefore the wealth estimates in SIH are assumed to relate to the average level of household net worth during that year.

The ASNA estimates of wealth are compiled quarterly and annually using mostly government administrative data and ABS survey data. Details are available in Australian National Accounts: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 5216.0). The ASNA estimates of wealth, in this appendix, are those underlying the household balance sheet presented as Table 51 in Australian System of National Accounts, 2011-12 (cat. no. 5204.0), with the memorandum item for consumer durables taken from Table 16 of that publication. Balance sheet data are presented with respect to 30 June of each year, and therefore to improve comparability with the SIH estimates, ASNA data presented in this appendix have been averaged. For example, estimates for 2011-12 are the average of data for 30 June 2011 and 30 June 2012.

A3. SIH ESTIMATES OF HOUSEHOLD NET WORTH

2003-04
2005-06
2009-10
2011-12
$b
$b
$b
$b

ASSETS
Non-financial assets
Value of owner occupied dwelling
1 927
2 267
3 065
3 192
Value of other residential property
442
579
842
895
Value of non-residential property
106
140
*303
219
Value of contents of dwelling
366
404
510
540
Value of vehicles
133
154
172
183
Total non-financial assets(a)
2 978
3 551
4 387
5 055
Financial assets
Values of accounts held with financial institutions
163
197
276
319
Value of offset accounts
-
-
-
35
Value of shares (excl. own incorporated business)
141
180
187
157
Value of own incorporated business (net of liabilities)
177
359
332
238
Value of own unincorporated business (net of liabilities)
121
114
181
178
Value of silent partnerships
-
-
10
37
Value of trusts
Public unit trusts
-
-
31
27
Private trusts
-
-
150
206
Total trusts
71
80
181
232
Balance of accounts with superannuation funds
491
670
973
1 142
Values of debentures and bonds
7
7
4
*2
Value of loans to persons not in the same household
4
*7
4
6
Total financial assets(b)
1 176
1 644
2 152
2 352
Total assets
4 155
5 194
7 050
7 407
LIABILITIES
Property loans
Principal outstanding on loans for owner occupied dwelling
310
396
574
645
Principal outstanding on other property loans
154
231
308
364
Other liabilities
Debt outstanding on study loans
9
12
17
21
Amount owning on credit cards
14
17
22
24
Principal outstanding on loans for vehicle purchases (excl. business and investment loans)
21
23
19
24
Principal outstanding on investment loans (excl. business and rental property loans)
18
41
58
37
Principal outstanding on loans for other purposes (excl. business and investment loans)
11
14
9
10
Total liabililties
537
733
761
1 123
NET WORTH
3 618
4 461
6 043
6 284

* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution
- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Includes non-financial assets nec
(b) Includes children's assets and other financial investments

A4. ASNA HOUSEHOLD BALANCE SHEET(a)

2003-04
2005-06
2009-10
2011-12
$b
$b
$b
$b

Non-financial assets
Dwellings
901
1 075
1 392
1 511
Ownership transfer costs
100
124
148
157
Non-dwelling construction
140
167
219
238
Machinery and equipment
80
89
109
112
Cultivated biological resources
18
19
22
24
Intellectual property products
4
4
6
6
Inventories
21
23
26
30
Land
1 769
2 112
2 757
2 920
Total non-financial assets(b)
3 034
3 614
4 679
4 999
Financial assets
Currency and deposits
315
373
595
697
Securities other than shares
12
14
8
7
Loans and placements
6
7
1
1
Shares and other equity
460
617
606
551
Insurance technical reserves
774
1 054
1 446
1 726
Other accounts receivable
67
64
76
91
Total financial assets
1 633
2 129
2 730
3 072
Total assets
4 667
5 743
7 409
8 071
Liabilities
Loans and placements
723
940
1 351
1 537
Securities other than shares
12
16
30
27
Other accounts payable
33
41
57
58
Total liabilities
768
998
1 437
1 623
NET WORTH
3 899
4 745
5 972
6 448
Memorandum item from National Balance Sheet: Consumer durables
235
254
301
311

(a) Estimates are the average of 30 June year estimates. For example, estimates for 2011-12 are the average of data for 30 June 2011 and 30 June 2012
(b) Includes native standing timber



SCOPE AND MEASUREMENT DIFFERENCES

There are a number of scope and measurement differences that can be quantified between the SIH and ASNA household wealth estimates (Table A5).

The SIH estimates include the value of household contents and motor vehicles used for private purposes. The most closely related ASNA item is the value of consumer durables which is not included in the ASNA estimate of net worth in the household sector balance sheet but is included as a memorandum item in the National Balance Sheet (Table 16, cat.no.5204.0). However, consumer durables in the ASNA exclude clothing and household textiles, artworks and antiques that are held as a store of value, and all non-durable household goods. Valuation methods also differ, with the ASNA estimating actual value, taking into account depreciation, whereas the SIH uses insurance cover which is normally based on a 'new for old' valuation basis. In 2011-12, the value of contents of dwelling and vehicles in the SIH was $723 billion. The ASNA consumer durables memorandum item was $311 billion in 2011-12.

The ASNA measure of net worth also includes some components which are not included in the scope of the SIH measure. The components which can be identified and deducted from the ASNA aggregate were, in total, $543 billion in 2011-12, and include:
  • unfunded superannuation claims which reflect the liability of some governments to pay superannuation benefits to their employees for which they have not set aside funds ($266 billion);
  • the technical reserves of general and life insurance corporations, which represent policy holders' net equity in, or claims on, the reserves of general and life insurance corporations ($104 billion). The value of the technical reserves are not relatable to individual households and equate to prepayments of premiums and reserves held to cover outstanding claims;
  • the capitalised costs of transfers of ownership on real estate transactions, such as stamp duties, legal fees and real estate agents’ commissions ($157 billion); and
  • the bank deposit assets of non-profit institutions serving households (NPISHs), such as churches and charities, net of bank borrowings ($16 billion).

After adjusting for the quantifiable differences shown in Table A5 the difference between the SIH and ASNA aggregates is reduced. In 2011-12, the adjusted SIH net worth was $5,561 billion compared with adjusted ASNA net worth of $5,905 billion. However, there are two remaining scope differences which cannot be easily quantified. The SIH excludes both people living in non-private dwellings and people living in very remote regions of Australia. It is estimated that this excludes approximately 3% of people living in Australia. The ASNA household sector estimates also include the net worth of NPISHs. While bank deposit assets and loans from banks can be quantified, other assets and liabilities of NPISHs, such as the value of dwellings and non-residential properties, cannot be separately identified, except in years when information are compiled for satellite accounts.

A5. ADJUSTMENT FOR SELECTED SCOPE AND MEASUREMENT DIFFERENCES

2003-04
2005-06
2009-10
2011-12

SIH items
Total household net worth $b
3 618
4 461
6 043
6 284
Less
Value of contents of dwelling $b
366
404
510
540
Value of vehicles $b
133
154
172
183
Adjusted SIH net worth $b
3 118
3 904
5 361
5 561
ASNA items
Net worth of household sector $b
3 899
4 745
5 972
6 448
Less
Unfunded superannuation claims $b
143
160
237
266
Ownership transfer costs $b
100
124
148
157
Technical reserves of general and life insurance corporations(a) $b
76
93
95
104
NPISHs bank deposit assets (net of bank borrowings)(b) $b
6
6
12
16
Adjusted ASNA net worth $b
3 573
4 362
5 481
5 905
SIH as a percent of ASNA, after adjusting for scope and measurement differences %
87
90
98
94

(a) Component of insurance technical reserves
(b) Component of currency and deposits



COMPARISON OF WEALTH ITEMS

This section compares selected individual sources of wealth in this publication with wealth items published in the ASNA, or source data available for those items.


Residential property assets

Residential property is the largest asset held by the household sector. The SIH collects data about the value of dwellings including owner occupied dwellings, second homes (such as holiday homes) and rental investment properties, if not reported as assets of an unincorporated business. Estimates are based on the gross amount respondents would expect to receive if they were to sell their property at the time of interview.

The ASNA uses total household dwelling stock at market value derived by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA Bulletin, Table B20). Counts of total dwellings are obtained from the ABS Census of Population and Housing. For intercensal years, dwelling counts are extrapolated forward using dwelling completions, net of demolitions. These counts are multiplied by the mean market value of dwellings which are estimated by a private consultant, mainly using Valuers General data.

In 2011-12, the SIH estimate of the value of residential property was $4,087 billion compared to the ASNA estimate of $4,122 billion.

A6. RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY ASSETS

2003-04
2005-06
2009-10
2011-12

SIH items
Value of owner occupied dwelling $b
1 927
2 267
3 065
3 192
Value of other residential property $b
442
579
842
895
Total residential property assets $b
2 369
2 846
3 907
4 087
ASNA items
Total residential property assets $b
2 489
2 958
3 844
4 122
Equals
Dwellings $b
901
1 075
1 392
1 511
Residential land(a) $b
1 588
1 883
2 452
2 611
SIH as a percent of ASNA %
95
96
102
99

(a) Component of land



Own unincorporated businesses

In the SIH respondents are asked to provide a net estimate of the value of their own unincorporated businesses (i.e. net of liabilities). Therefore, no information is available about the asset and liability composition of this component. For the purpose of this comparison, the values of non-residential property and private trusts reported in the SIH have been included in the selected assets listed in Table A7. However, any liabilities related to the non-residential property cannot be separately quantified.

The ASNA includes information about the individual assets and liabilities by type, but does not identify which assets or liabilities relate to unincorporated business activities and which are used for other purposes. However, some forms of assets and liabilities are most likely to relate to business activities.

Table A7 shows the individual items that most closely relate to the operations of unincorporated businesses. In 2011-12, the SIH net value of these selected assets was $640 billion, while the net value of the selected ASNA assets and liabilities was $644 billion. The two sets of estimates aligned more closely in 2011-12 (SIH 99.3% of ASNA) than in either 2003-04 or 2005-06 (with the SIH estimate being a little over half the ASNA estimate). The closer alignment can be partly attributed to improved estimates of the value of assets held by private trusts, such as family trusts, in the SIH, which were quantified separately for the first time in 2009-10.

A7. OWN UNINCORPORATED BUSINESS

2003-04
2005-06
2009-10
2011-12

SIH items
Value of own unincorporated business (net of liabilities) $b
121
114
181
178
Value of silent partnerships $b
-
-
*10
*37
Value of non-residential property $b
106
140
*303
219
Value of private trusts(a) $b
-
-
150
206
Total selected SIH items $b
226
253
644
640
ASNA items
Total selected ASNA items $b
426
490
605
644
Equals
Non-dwelling construction $b
140
167
219
238
Rural and commercial land $b
181
229
305
309
Machinery and equipment $b
80
89
109
112
Cultivated biological resources $b
18
19
22
24
Intellectual property products $b
4
4
6
6
Inventories $b
21
23
26
30
Other accounts receivable $b
67
64
76
91
Cash held by businesses(b) $b
7
8
11
12
Total selected assets(c) $b
519
604
774
822
Less
Unincorporated business loans and placements(d) $b
48
57
83
93
Other accounts payable $b
33
41
57
58
Securities other than shares $b
12
16
30
27
Total selected liabilities $b
93
115
170
178
SIH as a percent of ASNA %
53
52
107
99

* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution
- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Private trusts were collected but are not available separately in 2003-04 and 2005-06. There may be a small number of non-business related trusts, such as inheritance trusts, included in this item
(b) Component of currency and deposits
(c) Includes native standing timber
(d) Component of loans and placements



Accounts with financial institutions

In Table A8, the SIH items 'accounts held with financial institutions' and 'offset accounts' are compared to the deposit component (excluding deposits of NPISHs) of the ASNA item 'currency and deposits', and the ASNA item 'loans and placements', that is, deposits with other financial institutions. The SIH items were around half the value of the ASNA items in all periods of analysis, for example, $354 billion compared with $655 billion in 2011-12.

There are two main factors which limit the comparability of the SIH and ASNA values for these assets. Firstly, the ASNA items include deposits belonging to unincorporated businesses which in the SIH are not identified separately in the net value of these businesses. In 2011-12 SIH there were about 559,000 households that reported owning an unincorporated business.

Secondly, the scope of the SIH excludes people living in non-private dwellings, many of whom would be older persons. Table 24 of this publication shows that households with a reference person aged 65 years and over have the highest deposit balances of any of the age groups. The SIH estimate in Table A5 also does not include the value of bank accounts held by children. For the first time in 2011-12, the value of offset accounts ($35 billion) was explicitly collected in the SIH. Prior to 2011-12, the value of offset accounts was not separately collected but may have been reported by some households when reporting the value of their accounts held with financial institutions.

A8. ACCOUNTS WITH FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS

2003-04
2005-06
2009-10
2011-12

SIH items
Value of accounts held with financial institutions $b
163
197
276
319
Value of offset accounts(a) $b
na
na
na
35
Total selected SIH items $b
163
197
276
354
ASNA items
Total value of accounts with financial institutions $b
298
355
559
655
Equals
Balances with authorised deposit taking institutions (excl NPISH deposits) $b
293
348
558
654
Loans and placements (assets) $b
6
7
1
1
SIH as a percent of ASNA %
55
55
50
54

na not available
(a) Collected separately for the first time in 2011-12



Superannuation

Superannuation is the largest financial asset reported by respondents in the SIH. Respondents to the survey were asked to report the total balance in each of their superannuation funds by referring to their last superannuation statement.

The corresponding ASNA item is the pension fund component of insurance technical reserves. The ASNA estimate is derived from information provided to regulatory authorities by the superannuation funds and the ATO for the self managed funds.

In 2011-12, the value of superannuation assets reported in the SIH was lower than the ASNA estimate ($1,142 billion and $1,356 billion, respectively).

A9. SUPERANNUATION

2003-04
2005-06
2009-10
2011-12

SIH item
Balance of accounts with superannuation funds $b
491
670
973
1 142
ASNA item
Pension funds(a) $b
555
801
1 114
1 356
SIH as a percent of ASNA %
89
84
87
84

(a) Component of Insurance technical reserves



Shares and other equity (including own incorporated business)

In the SIH, respondents who own their own incorporated businesses are asked to report the value of the businesses net of liabilities. In principle, this should equate to the share value of those incorporated businesses. Respondents are also asked to report the current value of their investments in shares and trusts. In SIH 2009-10, improvements made to the questionnaire to separately collect the value of public unit trusts from other trusts significantly improved the coverage of trusts. In 2009-10 and 2011-12, the value of other (private) trusts, is included in the value of own unincorporated businesses in Table A11 as most of these trusts are likely to be associated with unincorporated business operations.

In the ASNA, the values of listed shares and some unlisted shares are calculated as residuals, that is, the total value of each of these types of shares owned by all sectors is estimated, and then the value of shares owned by sectors other than households are subtracted to derive the value of shares owned by the household sector. The values for other unlisted shares are derived from a range of reported data and other imputed estimates where householders are known to have an ownership interest.

Table A10 shows the individual items that relate to share and own incorporated business equity for both SIH and ASNA. The total value of the selected SIH items was $421 billion in 2011-12, compared to the corresponding ASNA estimate of $551 billion. At the individual item level, it can be assumed that the ASNA item 'listed shares' equates with the SIH items 'shares (excl. own unincorporated business)'. In 2011-12, these assets were valued at $157 billion (SIH) and $157 billion (ASNA), respectively.

There is less comparability between the SIH value of 'own incorporated business' and the ASNA value of 'unlisted shares issued by private non-financial corporations' ($238 billion and $365 billion, respectively, in 2011-12). In prior years, the ASNA estimates for unlisted shares issued by private non-financial corporations were significantly smaller than SIH estimates of the value of own incorporated business, ASNA's revised estimates are higher than the corresponding SIH estimates.

A10. SHARES AND OWN INCORPORATED BUSINESS

2003-04
2005-06
2009-10
2011-12

SIH items
Value of own incorporated business (net of liabilities) $b
177
359
332
238
Value of shares (excl. own incorporated business) $b
141
180
187
157
Value of trusts(a) $b
71
80
na
na
Value of public unit trusts(b) $b
na
na
31
27
Total value of shares and other equity $b
388
618
550
421
ASNA item
Total value of shares and other equity $b
460
617
606
551
Equals
Listed shares(c) $b
150
218
164
157
Unlisted shares issued by private non-financial corporations $b
268
351
400
365
Unlisted shares (other)(c) $b
42
49
43
29
SIH as a percent of ASNA %
84
100
91
77

na not available
(a) Includes public unit trusts and private trusts not available separately in 2003-04 and 2005-06
(b) In 2003-04 and 2005-06, public unit trusts are included in 'Value of trusts'
(c) Component of shares and other equity



Property loans

SIH estimates of the value of property loans include the principal outstanding on loans, where the loans have been used both to finance the purchase or construction of, or alteration or addition to, an owner occupied dwelling, or to finance the purchase of other property. The SIH estimate includes loans for non-residential property not treated by respondents as part of the liabilities of their unincorporated business. However, it does not include loans for dwellings respondents regard as assets of their unincorporated businesses.

In the ASNA, loans for housing relate to all loans originally for the purpose of housing. In 2011-12, total property loans were estimated to be valued at $1,009 billion in the SIH, compared with $1,257 billion in ASNA. ASNA estimates have been consistently higher than SIH estimates for each year where data have been collected in the SIH. In previous years, some banks incorrectly reported housing loans and deposit categories to APRA. Due to system upgrades, this reporting has been improved, and data have been resubmitted to APRA. The 2012-13 ASNA will reflect these revisions.

A11. PROPERTY LOANS

2003-04
2005-06
2009-10
2011-12

SIH items
Principal outstanding on loans for owner occupied dwelling $b
310
396
574
645
Principal outstanding on rental and other property loans $b
154
231
308
364
Total property loans $b
463
627
882
1 009
ASNA items
Total property loans $b
551
720
1 082
1 257
Equals
Loans for owner occupied housing, where type of housing can be determined(a) $b
298
375
641
770
Loans for investment housing, where type of housing can be determined(a) $b
145
187
311
373
Loans for housing, where type of housing cannot be determined(a) $b
108
159
131
114
SIH as a percent of ASNA %
84
87
82
80

(a) Component of loans and placements



Other loans

The SIH estimate of the value of loans for purposes other than for property or business, was $114 billion in 2011-12, compared with $185 billion in the ASNA.

There are a number of factors which may contribute to the difference in these two estimates. Firstly, the ASNA estimate will include loans of unincorporated businesses if they were not secured against a residential property whereas in the SIH, these loans are likely to be used in the calculation for net value of the business, and therefore not reported as a separate liability. There may also be difficulties in dividing aggregate financial data into sector specific components in the ASNA and some loans, such as those associated with vehicle finance leases, can be difficult to allocate between business purposes and personal purposes, for both reporting in SIH and in compiling the ASNA estimates.

A12. OTHER LOANS

2003-04
2005-06
2009-10
2011-12

SIH items
Debt outstanding on study loans $b
9
12
17
21
Amount owing on credit cards $b
14
17
22
24
Principal outstanding on loans for vehicle purchases (excl. business and investment loans) $b
21
23
19
24
Principal outstanding on investment loans (excl. business and rental property loans) $b
18
41
58
37
Principal outstanding on loans for other purposes (excl. business and investment loans) $b
11
14
9
10
Total other liabilities $b
74
106
125
114
ASNA items
Total other liabilities $b
123
161
182
185
Equals
HECS debt(a) $b
8
10
17
21
Consumer loans(a) $b
115
150
166
164
SIH as a percent of ASNA %
60
66
68
62

(a) Component of loans and placements



REFERENCES

Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian System of National Accounts: 2011-12 (cat. no. 5204.0)

Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian System of National Accounts: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no 5216.0)

Reserve Bank of Australia, RBA Bulletin. Available from http://www.rba.gov.au/publications/bulletin/


FURTHER INFORMATION

A corresponding data confrontation for income is presented separately in appendices in Household Income and Income Distribution, Australia, 2011-12 (cat. no. 6523.0).