Household wealth declined 3 per cent through the year

Media Release

Household wealth fell for the third consecutive quarter, decreasing by 0.4 per cent ($57 billion) in the December quarter 2022, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Mish Tan, ABS head of finance and wealth statistics, said: “Household wealth is now $14.4 trillion which is 3.0 per cent lower than a year ago. This is largely due to falling residential property prices, as rising interest rates lower demand and household borrowing capacity.”

The value of residential land and dwellings dropped by 2.7 per cent ($260 billion) in the December quarter and contributed 1.8 percentage points to the overall decline in household wealth. Residential land and dwellings are valued at $9.2 trillion which is 3.9 per cent ($374 billion) lower than December 2021.

Superannuation assets tempered the quarterly fall in household wealth, rising 3.6 per cent ($120 billion). This reflected domestic and international share markets rallying during the quarter following heavy losses in previous quarters. Despite the rise, superannuation balances have lost 6.7 per cent ($247 billion) in value since December 2021 as asset prices declined.

Household deposits grew by $32.3 billion with a record $623.3 billion now invested in non-transferable deposit accounts such as savings and fixed-term deposits.

“Households have increased their investments in term deposits as banks offer higher interest rates on these products,” Dr Tan said.

Total demand for credit was $63.8 billion, which continued the decline from record high levels in March quarter 2022. This was driven by households ($31.5 billion), private non-financial corporations ($16.0 billion) and government ($11.2 billion).

“Total credit growth slowed during the quarter amid an environment where households and businesses are facing higher borrowing costs,” Dr Tan said.

“Meanwhile government borrowing has stabilised following unprecedented debt issuance to support the economy through the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters.”

Authorised deposit taking institutions (ADIs) issued $17.1 billion in bonds and $23.9 billion in short term debt securities in the December quarter and have increased their share of funding from wholesale sources over retail deposits.

Media notes

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