SO how rich have the aggregate Singapore households grown in the last decade or so? Data from the Singapore Yearbook of Statistics shows that household net wealth grew from $560 billion in 2000 to $1.09 trillion in 2009 – the latest available number. That is compounded growth of 7.7 per cent a year.
Other numbers given were total assets, the split of the assets between financial assets and residential properties, and how much of the total asset holding was funded by loans.
I decided to plot the charts for these numbers so as to get a picture of how strong or weak the Singapore household balance sheets are, and where do most Singapore residents put their money.
Table 1 shows the total assets and total liabilities of households, and the net wealth from year 2000 until 2009. Total assets grew from $699.5 billion to $1.28 trillion – a rise of 7 per cent a year. That’s slower than the growth of net assets.
In other words, debt in the household balance sheet has been growing at a slower pace than total assets.
In that same period, total liabilities of households which include mortgage loans from financial institutions and the Housing & Development Board (HDB), and personal loans such as car loans and credit/charge cards expanded from $139 billion to $191.5 billion. That is a growth of 3.6 per cent a year.
However, the proportion of total assets financed by loans fell from 20 per cent to 15 per cent.
So the household balance sheet of Singapore residents is on the whole pretty strong.
Of the mortgage loans, the financing of private properties by financial institutions registered the fastest expansion. It rose by 9.1 per cent a year, from $43 billion to $94 billion. Loans provided by HDB actually fell – from $59 billion to $46 billion.
As for personal loans, credit and charge card loans grew the speediest. They climbed from $2.6 billion to $6.2 billion – or 10.4 per cent a year.-By Teh Hooi Ling