Last year, one of the strange side-effects of the coronavirus pandemic was an overall increase in household wealth. A rapidly rebounding share market, coupled with a similar move in the national property market helped Aussies feel like there was at least some upside to the roller-coaster that was 2020.
Record governmental stimulus programs, such as JobKeeper and a temporary doubling of JobSeeker, also helped mightily. But how are Aussies faring in 2021 so far, now that much of this stimulus has been wound back?
Never better, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Rising tides of property and shares are lifting the Aussie wealth boat
The pandemic continues to see rising household wealth in Australia. At least that’s what the latest findings from the ABS tell us. According to ABS statistics released last week, total household wealth managed to rise by 4.3% in the 3 months to 31 March 2021. That equates to a dollar figure of $510 billion, putting the total wealth pool in Australia at a record $12.66 trillion. Wealth per capita is also at a record high, sitting at $492,055 for every Australian at the end of the March quarter.
The annual numbers tell a similar story. In the 12 months to 31 March 2021, the ABS found that household wealth grew 15.3%. That was the strongest annual growth since March 2010 (22.6%).
So what do Aussies have to thank for all this wealth? The usual suspects, according to the ABS. That annual figure of 15.3% consisted of 8.5% from rising property prices. A further 4.2% came from superannuation balance growth. Here’s what the ABS’ Head of Finance and Wealth, Katherine Keenan, had to say on the rise in wealth:
Residential assets contributed 3.5 percentage points to the quarterly growth in household wealth, followed by superannuation balances and directly held shares, at 0.6 and 0.2 percentage points. Growth in household wealth continued to be driven by rising residential property prices, reflecting record low interest rates, support through a range of government incentives and recovery in the labour market…
Household wealth grew more in the last year than it did during the preceding three years combined. Over the three years prior to March 2020, household wealth grew 11.4 per cent.
So houses and shares… That’s evidently how the Aussie wealth bread is being buttered right now.