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


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