Total household wealth in Australia has surged over the last quarter, official figures have revealed.
Stats released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that Australian household wealth has predominantly grown through surging house prices as well as high yielding superannuation investments.
As it stands, at the end of the March quarter, total household wealth increased 4.3 per cent ($518 billion) to reach a record $12,664.5 billion.
This means wealth per capita in Australia has hit a new record high of $492,055.
According to the ABS data, housing gains spurred on by increasing market activities was the main driver for an increase in Australian household wealth.
Residential property assets soared 13.9 per cent or almost $1 trillion.
Household property assets now stand at a record $8.33 trillion.
The ABS is expecting low interest rates, recovery in the labour market, consumer confidence, government incentives and strong buyers demand to continue to lift house values, meaning Australians per capita wealth is expected to continue to grow.
Katherine Keenan, head of finance and wealth at the ABS, said 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,” she explained.
The ending of the early access to superannuation scheme and stronger job prospects transactions in superannuation ($23.4 billion) also contributed to the increase in household wealth, reflecting continued employment growth over the quarter as economic conditions improved.
Superannuation reserves also hit a record high of $3.42 trillion, up from $3.34 trillion in the December quarter, according to the ABS, while $1.15 trillion was held directly in shares.
While the March quarter bump in wealth might be considered impressive, it has been steadily building despite households facing pandemic shutdowns.
Ms Keenan added, “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.”
Source: Have you noticed your wealth has surged? By Cameron Micallef for Nestegg.com.au