Are the rich getting richer?

Friday, September 22, 2017

Australia has long been considered the land of the fair go. It is a nation regarded as a classless society where the suburbs were the social equalisers- a melting pot of lawyers and labourers, teachers and tradies.

The ‘great Australian dream’ where people on average incomes near the start of their working life could afford a home is fading and the latest data reveals a widening wealth gap.

What are the drivers of this wealth stratification?

Property prices and ownership

The latest HILDA data from the University of Melbourne showed that two decades ago, one in three young people aged 18 - 39 owned a property, compared to today, where just one in four young people own a property.

The impact of growing demand on house prices is most evident when comparing prices to average earnings. Twenty years ago, the average Sydney house was 5.6 times average annual earnings while in Melbourne it was an affordable 3.4 times annual earnings.

Today, Sydney homes are more than 14 times average earnings, and in Melbourne more than 11 times annual earnings.

Generational challenge

The generational financial inequities are even more pronounced when analysing net wealth by generational cohort.

While Gen Y have a household net worth of $268,800, it is less than half that of the Gen Xers who are just a decade older. The highest net worth generation in Australia are the Boomers aged 55-64 who not only have a net wealth almost 5 times that of the generation of their children (Gen Y) but they still have a decade or more of earnings and wealth accumulating ahead of them.

How can we level the playing field?

Policy has partly created the rising house prices through migration settings and therefore population growth. Policy settings have also created the SMSF demand for property and tax settings such as negative gearing have been a boon for property investment. Therefore policy could also assist in bringing a solution such as assisting in intergenerational wealth transfer or allowing superannuation fund access for first-home buyers. For a generation finding it harder to get a foothold in property, further research into possible policy adjustments is a worthwhile approach.

About Mark McCrindle

Mark McCrindle is an award-winning social researcher, best-selling author, TedX speaker and influential thought leader, and is regularly commissioned to deliver strategy and advice to the boards and executive committees of some of Australia’s leading organisations. Download Mark's full speakers pack here.

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


trend tuesday divorce urban professional speaker collaboration royal average sydneysider census results affordability mythbusting change social researcher work proactive keynote parents sunny days owning a home New South Wales 1980 jobs of the future builders trends analyst learning NFP event Australia Day 2017 future leadership workshop social change parenting overcast focus group story trends ageing population data analyst live the dream tea vegetarian brand experience Christmas presents vegemite wealth Northern Territory Australian Census communication train litter workforce easy rider work-life easter care support aussie culture ferry teacher christianity coffee Christmas season education sector data residents slideshare post rationalism capital cities the great screenage communicate future proof ashley fell moreton bay ABS dare to dream employment census 2015 hills group session family low density research services healthy future 40 million micro eliane narcissism sydneysiders 23 million contiki local communities winter perth jobs increasing densification hills shire Generation X men crime young people millenials water in depth interviews ACF deloitte insights teaching office opening non profit house price rise environmental scanning cost religion future of shopping events presentation megatrends mining boom australians staying home more baby names report real forecasting training professional communities Australian demographics moderators guide poor volunteers Australian schools hobart Word Up Sydney Hills Business Chamber housing ACT shopper's pick woolworths Australian Population Australian Home The ABC of XYZ HSC meals faux-cilise eliane miles baby name national crime rates SMSF Macquarie University casual average aussie paying to work speakers pack engage data visualisation optus food insecurity Tuesday Trend dreaming Generation Y cancel plans millennials small business mother's day unaffordable professional services media commentary economy social trends Population Clock wealth distribution February 16 Duchess of Cambridge medicine SRE ACF17 demographic trends alpha REIV National Conference prince george stats Scouts conference speaker speakers stay home baby boomers Work place sydney speaker lalor park dream purpose business performance princess charlotte sun generations Queensland conferences high density living property market food public speaking work mates priorities leader group teleworking sector VET Australian community trends selfie internet news annual income gig food bank criminal land of the middle class Australian Trends community event PSI Sydney keynote speaker hopes infographic wall sector wide cold home SMART entrepreneur Australia Day rise of local trend repayments quote organisations award winner marrickville financial independence population growth Northern Beaches Christian School social publication survey design trends of 2016 cultural diversity brisbane case study statistics generation alpha impact royal family volunteer household property 2016 friendship Education Future Forum Tuesday Trends holidays sydney metro monarchy volunteering not for profit TDE acf15 professional presenters demography snapshot income English experience donate future of education click pyrmont Kiwi population milestone future-proof 1994 office engagement Adelaide tattoos FPA demographer australian social research local Crime Rates geomapping System's Architect debt weekly earnings new york times royal influence aged care survey earning home owner Res Vis shifts growth award tableau faux-ciliser insight mccrindle research social commentator safe personal growth social commentary mccrindle in the media rental stress future of work sydney event renter of the future learner public speaker collaborative wealth and income distribution NEETs media activity brand NBRS Architecture thought leadership earn DIY video emerging generations business index cooking world ageing social researchers logan screenage culture cancelling plans in the media ACF2017 24,000,000 NSW Wagga Wagga census data etiquette research data capital city 1975 going out balance education research educated keynote speaker 2016 census manly pharmacies year 12 resilience analysis gender January 26th futurist families curiosity suburbs Australia street Wellington the hills states social impact celebration population ACT Report 2012 google for education business conference presentation TED city Real Estate Institute of Victoria Do It Yourself #censusfail global online mover and shaker wealth inequality summer greatness travel infographics professional development area marriage earnings EFF Jura Coffee research visualisation teach marriages presentations living financial fears demographics Australians CPI WA graphs commuters McCridle gig economy housing growth aged care puzzle consumer cancelling event Christchurch potts point 2014 communications Aussies volunteering data The Daily Edition bureau Northern Beaches speaker Australian Communities Trends GPO fears mateship not for profit research wedding study Jura Australia high density apartments retirement wealth and income university Aussie employmer pharmacy education Royals choice workers brands researcher plans Real Estate media release mythbusters school mentor focus groups suburban living staff speajer father's day cloudy days daily telegraph budget panel the australian dream Research Director SA Myth spirituality urban living index mortgage rule keeper Christmas lunch resource results Caregiver outsourcing local community newspaper world youth day Deaths baby name trends financial planning apartment australia personalities sydney hills Australian Bureau of Statistics forum australian community trends report menai Geoff Brailey visual storytelling intern blaxland mccrindle 10 years authenticity qualitative research VIC dessert identity suburb Sydney social research urban taskforce conference belief learning styles sydneycity employmee define CBD politics career gen alpha technology language investment ethnography rent sustainable waverton growing population bondi hello fresh VET sector internships workplace culture typical australian South Australia wolloomooloo society trends financial transport Andrew Duffin global financial crisis McCrindle Speakers infographic optus my business awards Assistant Store Manager trends of 2017 Financial Planning Association of Australia neutral bay fresh tertiary education households skills Financial Planning Association Financial Planning Week educhat long weekend life James Ward media hunger not-for-profit investing cultural diveristy Research Executive mccrindle tea Charlotte micro apartments tips cash rising house prices Australian Families gen z dreams winter blues kate middleton house huffington post population map high density community research on coffee 2020 social media friends Gen Y house price weather report national wealth national private wealth social analysis social life university degree community engagement wellbeing follow chairty energy environment research pack education future Engineering Manager 1968 child care office space toys customer youth unemployment omnibus school students baby bus sentiments 2017 Merry Christmas clothing Netflix holiday finance TEDx culturally diverse facts market research sports church grandparents buildings equip daily commute optimistic staying in organisational culture village australian communities forum house prices ideas property price baby boom sunburnt country financial future urban living research school satisfaction economic royal baby event TAS twentyseventeen baby names anzac hornsby schools changing face of sydney faith World Water Day innovation ease of travel Valentine’s Day "know the times" NT consumerism norwest Bathburst australian children women FOMO seasons gold coast high school Australian Dream offenders relational rain entrepreneurs of today know the times Mark McCrindle wage workshop New Zeland IT Specialists ACF 2016 grave decision home ownership social enquiry wages apartments supply and demand product census 2016 the changing face of employers housing market renting teachers nfp demographic research report cica the hills shire goal millionth schools students ultimo divorce rate Kirsten Brewer public holiday learn goals online shopping couple student shopping cartodb REIV Conference entertainment salary generation socialising Births marketing social issues Hills Shire Council townhouses poker master Vocational education cost of living challenge Tasmania motivate government socialites emerging trends responsive giving internship education future report 24 million social shifts future proofing australian real estate shopping centre forecast demographic transformations car investor census fail leadership crows nest networking Australian communities happiness New Zealand australian communities trends report workplace Wodonga charity meetings christian commute students the average aussie Channel 7 average Australian rich emerging technologies Hornsby Shire Council middle class ashley mckenzie TED talk christmas tuesday Love social lives youth Channel Seven baby name predictions showreel Western Australia global generations housing trends digital young australians travelling baby names australia report state unemployment donation cars sydneysider careers faux-cilising recap ipswich darwin debate Gen X generational trends housing affordability spend Melbourne society tv entrepreneurial thrive generation Z victoria relevant Queensland: QLD JOMO domestic 2013 the lucky country sector wide study mobile trades 2016 census results google DESTEL Social Trend shbc Canberra list NBRS participants visualisation financial dreams lifestyle Territory Northern beaches Event names interactive coffee lovers breakfast money innovative year 7 Skilling program new office charities What is food insecurity? affordable