Australia's wealth takes half trillion hit

Latest research shows Australia lost close to half a trillion dollars in wealth at the end of 2018.

According to Roy Morgan's latest Single Source Survey, the gross personal wealth of Australians (including owner-occupied homes) is currently around $9.78 trillion. However, in September last year the figure stood at more than $10.2 trillion.

The number is now lower than at any point during 2018, and is coupled with a 4.3% drop in net wealth after debt, which has moved from $8.99 trillion to $8.60 trillion.

Roy Morgan industry communications director Norman Morris said the poor performance of Australian equities in the final quarter of last year had a significant impact on the result.

"The slowdown in the ASX in the December quarter has had a major negative impact on household wealth, particularly on superannuation and directly held shares," Morris said.

"This combined with falling housing values and the uncertainty around the coming Federal election has the potential to further negatively impact household wealth."

However he said the drop should be tempered by the fact average gross household wealth still stands at over $1 million.

"In fact, at $1.016 million it is 26% or $207,000 higher than it was five years ago," he said.

The research house said owner occupied homes still made up the biggest portion of Australians' gross personal wealth at 50.1%, despite a drop in value over the last quarter.

Meanwhile, superannuation is worth just under a quarter of the value of gross personal wealth, with property investments the next largest portion at 9.9%.

Read more: WealthRoy MorganSuperSuperannuationASXNorman Morris
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