Housing wealth hits record high. Record prepaid & debit cards.

Property prices; Credit/debit cards

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reports that the total value of Australia’s 10.72 million residential homes rose by $487 billion in the September quarter to a record $9,259.2 billion.

The average Aussie dwelling price hit a record $863,700 in the September quarter. The average price of residential dwellings rose $42,000 in the quarter and number of residential dwellings up by 44,600.

The number of prepaid cards rose by a record 17.7 per cent over the year to October.

What does it all mean?

• Australia’s housing boom continued in the September quarter. The total value of Australia’s 10.72 million homes surged by an astonishing $487 billion to an all-time high of $9.26 trillion. And quite sensationally, the average value of those homes has lifted by $42,000 to a record $863,700 in the space of just a three-month period. For those paying off their homes or who own them outright, that represents an amazing jump in household wealth levels, thus underpinning increased spending on discretionary purchases following Delta lockdowns.

• The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) residential property prices index showed home prices jumped by 5 per cent in the September quarter to be up 21.7 per cent on a year ago, the strongest annual growth since the series commenced in the September quarter of 2003.

• The Reserve Bank (RBA) also released updated credit and debit card statistics for October. The same spending trends have continued over the course of the pandemic, with the number of prepaid cards and debit card accounts hitting record highs in October. But the number of credit card accounts continues to decline with the number of cheques drawn hitting a record low. But the end of lockdowns in Australia’s south-east saw the average credit card balance lift off 16-year lows of $2,632.86 in September to $2,689.69 in October (up 2.2 per cent).

What do you need to know?

Residential Property Price indexes – September quarter

• The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released its Residential Property Price indexes for the September quarter.

• Capital city home prices rose by 5 per cent in the quarter to stand 21.7 per cent higher over the year, the strongest annual growth rate in 18 years (since records began in 2003).

• Over the year to September 2021, home prices rose in all Australian capital cities:

Hobart (up 25.7 per cent), Sydney (up 25.4 per cent) and Canberra (up 25.2 per cent) all posted the strongest annual growth rate in 18 years.

Perth (up 15.7 per cent) had the largest annual gain in home prices since the March quarter, 2007.

Brisbane (up 19.7 per cent) and Adelaide (up 19.0 per cent) each recorded their largest annual home price gains since the March quarter, 2008.

Darwin (up 13.7 per cent) had the largest annual rise in home prices since the March quarter, 2010.

Melbourne (up 19.5 per cent) had the largest annual home price growth since the June quarter, 2010.

• The total value of Australia’s 10.72 million dwellings rose by $487 billion in the September quarter to a record $9,259.2 billion.

• The average Aussie dwelling price hit a record $863,700 in the September quarter. The average price of residential dwellings rose $42,000 in the quarter and number of residential dwellings up by 44,600.

• NSW accounted for 40 per cent, or $3.7 trillion, of Australia’s total value of dwellings. The average price of residential dwellings in NSW rose to a record level of $1.1 million.

• CommSec estimates that the average number of people per home eased from 2.41 people to 2.40 people in the September quarter.

Reserve Bank credit & debit card data highlights – October

• The number of prepaid cards rose from 11.39 million in September to a record 11.45 million in October. Prepaid cards are up by a record 17.7 per cent on a year ago.

• The number of debit card accounts rose by 0.2 per cent to a record 36.1 million in October.

• The number of credit card accounts fell by just 0.03 per cent in October to a 15-year low of 13.18 million in October (lowest since November 2006).

• The average credit card balance rose from a 16-year low of $2,632.86 to $2,689.69 in October (up 2.2 per cent).

• The number of cheques drawn hit a record low of 2.48 million in October (19-year history).

Published by Ryan Felsman, Senior Economist, CommSec