Swiss Study Says Aussies Among Richest in the World

The boom in the Australian housing market has catapulting Oz to the top of the rich list according to the latest study of global wealth by Credit Suisse.

According to the Swiss Investment bank’s fifth annual wealth study, Australians are among the richest people in the world, thanks in part to the recent boom in the nation’s housing market.

The bank’s annual study of wealth trends around the world revealed that at the moment Australia is the most affluent nation on the planet in terms of wealth distribution. In June it was determined that the median Australian adult is worth over US$225,000 (AU$258,000), more than the average in any other country.

In fact Oz is doing so well on the list that even the country behind them, Belgium is lagging quite far behind with median wealth of US$173,000. Following behind Belgium is Italy, France and Britain where the median wealth is around US$110,000.

The following excerpt from an article on explains further:

Plus-values_immoThe reason for the exorbitant wealth of the average Australian adult is the heavy representation of “real assets” – referring to property – in the household balance of wealth, in tandem with the continuous gains logged by the country’s housing market on the back of low interest rates and surging foreign investment.

Real assets average US$319,700 per household in Australia, accounting for 60 per cent of gross assets.

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The report also highlights that since the turn of century, the average Aussie adult has more than quadrupled their net wealth. There has been an impressive rise from US$103,151 to US$431,000.

The article went on to highlight that according to this measure Australia is the second wealthiest population, following behind Switzerland where the adult’s mean net wealth is US$581,000.

Further good news for Australians came with the revelation that the nation does not suffer from the same levels of inequality and distorted distribution of wealth as many other wealthy nations experience. In Australia, wealth is fairly evenly distributed when compared with the distribution of wealth in other wealthy nations. Much of this wealth distribution has to do with the construction and housing boom as the article goes on to explain:

Credit Suisse researchers categorise Australia as nation with “medium inequality,” meaning that the top 10 per cent control between 50 and 60 per cent of the wealth.

According to analysts, the comparatively egalitarian nature of wealth distribution in Australia can also be attributed to the property boom, as rising home prices reduce inequality given their greater share of middle class assets.

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Credit Suisse Private Bank chief investment strategist David McDonald went on to state:

“These are obviously remarkable figures for Australia,” said Credit Suisse Private Bank chief investment strategist David McDonald. “We are well positioned globally in terms of wealth, as well as the spread of wealth.”

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