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


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