Faling property prices and weakening Aussie dollar has hit the wallets of average Aussies.
Faling property prices and weakening Aussie dollar has hit the wallets of average Aussies.

Average Aussie lost $36k in the past year

Falling house prices and the weaker Australian dollar caused the number of millionaires in the country to tumble, with 124,000 falling below the global mark in US dollar terms.

Wealth per adult slid from $US411,060 ($A599,000) to $US386,060 ($A563,000), meaning the average Aussie lost $36,000 over the year, according to Credit Suisse's 2019 global wealth report.

No country in the world lost as much as Australia, which fell from being second in the global ranking in 2018 to fourth in 2019.

Average wealth per adult in the nation was only marginally better than the 2011 figure of $US384,640 ($A560,000).

Credit Suisse defines wealth in the annual rankings as the value of financial and real assets by households in relation to debt.

Median wealth in Australia in 2018 was the highest in the world at $US191,453 ($A279,000), but it was overtaken by Switzerland after falling to $US181,361 ($A264,000) in 2019.

Up until the May federal election, the national housing market had lost billions of dollars in value over an 18-month period, which Credit Suisse attributed to the declining wealth of average Aussies.

Three rate cuts from the Reserve Bank of Australia also weighed on the currency, which has steadily depreciated over the year.

 

The change in the number of millionaires per country. Table: Credit Suisse
The change in the number of millionaires per country. Table: Credit Suisse

 

The report reveals how skewed Aussie wealth is to real estate and how the fluctuating property prices impact consumer confidence and economic activity.

Non-financial assets such as property accounted for 58 per cent of total household wealth compared with 45 per cent in Switzerland, 39 per cent in Japan and 35 per cent in the US.

"The high level of real assets reflects a large endowment of land and natural resources relative to the population but also high property prices in the largest cities," the report says.

 

The national property sector lost billions in value, particularly the Sydney market.
The national property sector lost billions in value, particularly the Sydney market.

 

RESILIENT WEALTH OUTLOOK IN AUSTRALIA

The report noted Australia's high average wealth combined with its relatively low wealth inequality.

Only 7 per cent of Aussies have a net worth below $US10,000 ($A14,570) compared with 17 per cent in the United Kingdom and 27 per cent in the US.

"The proportion of those with wealth above $US100,000 ($A145,700), at 66 per cent, is one of the highest in any country and about six times the world average," the report said.

"With 1,307,000 people in the top 1 per cent of global wealth holders, Australia accounts for 2.6 per cent of this top slice, although it is home to just 0.4 per cent of the world's adult population."

Did the falling house prices impact your personal wealth? Comment below @James_P_Hall | or get in touch at james.hall1@news.com.au



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