Boom times ending as debt rises

Tuesday 7 December 2004

The good news: the average household is $28,000 richer than a year ago. The bad: debt is rising faster than asset values.

By The Landlord

"The last 12 to 18 months has been a boom time for households," says Spicers chief economic adviser Rozanna Wozniak. Its Household Savings Indicators put national net worth at $352 billion.

But those boom times were coming to an end, with debt levels rising faster than asset values in the September quarter.

It would be unwise for households to keep borrowing in the belief their wealth would keep rising indefinitely.

The average household was now worth a net $234,000, up from about $206,000 in September last year, but if house prices fell next year, net worth might also dip, she said.

Housing accounted for 74 per cent of household assets, up from 60 per cent a decade ago, even though fewer people now owned their home.

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