House prices in Australia and recovering stock market push up wealth levels

Australians are much wealthier than they think thanks to rising house prices and a recovering stock market boosting wealth levels.

While many people who pay off a mortgage won’t feel rich, the statistics say otherwise, with average household wealth increasing 20.3 percent in the past year.

In June, per capita wealth was $522,032, based on the average wealth of both cohabiting couples and singles, as measured by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Postal codes near schools have performed particularly well, with house prices in some Sydney suburbs soaring by $900,000 in just a year.

Household net worth is based on subtracting debt from what people fully own, from the equity in their home to stocks, retirement, cryptocurrency, bank savings, and assets such as cars and boats.

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Australians are much richer than they think with rising house prices and a recovering stock market boosting wealth levels. In June, per capita wealth was $522,032, based on the average wealth of both cohabiting couples and singles, as measured by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (pictured are walkers on Sydney’s Bondi Beach)

From early April to late June, when Sydney went into lockdown, average wealth levels rose by $27,782 or 5.6 percent.

CommSec senior economist Ryan Felsman said record-low interest rates and federal government stimulus, such as HomeBuilder subsidies, had boosted wealth despite weak wage growth.

“So while wage growth remains lukewarm, asset values ​​are rising,” he said.

In the year to August, average home prices in Australia rose 18.4 percent to $666,514, the fastest annual rate since July 1989, when Sydney’s median home value rose 26 percent to $1,293 million.

The Australian stock market’s benchmark S&P/ASX200 is up 25 percent over the past year, reaching short-lived record highs in mid-August.

In comparison, wages are growing at just 1.7 percent annually and have been below the long-term average of 3 percent since mid-2013.

Katherine Keenan, head of finance and wealth at the Australian Bureau of Statistics, said rising property prices were a major factor driving wealth levels.

“Household wealth growth continued to be driven by house prices,” she said.

Homes near schools are rising well above average, new domain sales data for July 2021 shows. Median prices at Avalon Beach (pictured is a home on the market) in Sydney's Northern Beaches increased by $870,000 to $870,000 2,803 million, or a 45 percent increase, for homes near Barrenjoey High School

Homes near schools are rising well above average, new domain sales data for July 2021 shows. Median prices at Avalon Beach (pictured is a home on the market) in Sydney’s Northern Beaches increased by $870,000 to $870,000 2,803 million, or a 45 percent increase, for homes near Barrenjoey High School

“The sharp rise in real estate prices reflected record low interest rates, rising consumer confidence and demand that outperformed the housing stock in the market.”

Homes near schools are rising well above average, according to new domain sales data for July 2021.

Average prices of Avalon Beach on Sydney’s northern beaches rose $870,000 to $2,803 million, or a 45 percent increase, for homes near Barrenjoey High School.

Nearby Newport saw home prices rise $805,000 to $2,675 million, or 43 percent, in the Newport Public School watershed.

In Cronulla, Sydney’s Sutherland Shire, house prices rose $650,000 to $2.1 million, or 44.8 percent, for homes near Burraneer Bay Public School.

Victoria's Mornington Peninsula southeast of Melbourne also did well with housing prices on Mount Eliza (pictured) rising $605,000 to $1.93 million or 45.7 percent or they were near Kunyung Primary School

Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula southeast of Melbourne also did well with housing prices on Mount Eliza (pictured) rising $605,000 to $1.93 million or 45.7 percent or they were near Kunyung Primary School

On the Central Coast north of Sydney, Woy Woy home prices rose $255,000 to $870,000, or 41.5 percent, if properties were near Woy Woy Public School.

The Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, southeast of Melbourne, also did well with housing prices on Mount Eliza, rising $605,000 to $1.93 million, or 45.7 percent, near Kunyung Primary School.

In Brisbane, West End home prices rose $390,000 to $1,325 million, or 41.7 percent, if the home was in the West End State School watershed.

Domain’s head of research and economics Nicola Powell said annual house price increases for homes near schools were often up to 20 percentage points higher than those in the rest of the same suburb.

“It shows that Australians are willing to pay for easy access to public schools,” she said.

“When people are looking for a home, they are looking for a lifestyle, and education is a big part of that, whether it’s in the suburbs of the inner city or in the coastal areas of Australia.”

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