CHANGES IN WEALTH OVER TIME
Middle and high wealth households have experienced a real increase in average net worth over the 14 years. Middle wealth households had an average net worth of $564,500 in 2017–18 compared to $415,800 in 2003–04 (adjusted for inflation). High wealth households increased in real terms from an average net worth of $1.9 million in 2003–04 to $3.2 million in 2017–18.
Low wealth households did not experience any real increase in net worth over this time period with the average net worth of $35,200 in 2017–18 similar to 2003–04 ($34,200).
One factor driving the increase in net wealth of high income households is the value of property (owner-occupied and other property). For high wealth households, average total property value increased by $709,100 between 2003-04 and 2017-18 from $1.14 million to $1.85 million. For middle wealth households average property values increased by $158,300 (from $353,800 to $512,100). Low wealth households that owned property had much lower growth of $10,100 to $18,100 over the fourteen years.
Graph 1 - TOTAL AVERAGE PROPERTY VALUE, by wealth group, 2003–04 to 2017–18
Footnote: (a) Comprehensive wealth data was not collected in 2007–08
Source: ABS Survey of Income and Housing, 2017–18
Between 2003–04 and 2017–18 average study loans increased in real terms for different wealth groups:
- Low wealth households increased from $2,800 to $7,200
- Middle wealth households increased from $1,300 to $3,400
- High wealth households increased from $1,300 to $4,800
Between 2003–04 and 2017–18 average credit card debt increased in real terms for high wealth households ($3,500 to $4,400), but remained relatively stable for middle and low income households (at $2,700 and $1,900 respectively in 2017–18).