The study, conducted by the University of Sydney’s Professor Lisa Adkins, found that work and employment status are no longer the sole driver of inequality, with personal assets being a key decider and distributor of life chances.
“In the present era, where mid-sized homes in large western cities often appreciate by far more in a given year than it is possible for middle-class wage-earners to save from wages, such a continued focus on employment as the main determinant of class is increasingly untenable,” the professor said.
Examining the Sydney landscape, Professor Martijn Konings has offered that property growth outstripping salaries means the old model for “wealth” is no longer relevant.
He explained that “property inflation cannot be seen as just a speculative bubble or a result of poor policymaking”.
“Yes, it may be those things in part, but it is also a structural feature of the current phase of capitalism and has been central to the production of a new social structure of class and stratification that is characterised by a logic of its own,” Professor Konings said.
Based off the research, the new categories of wealth are:
2. Outright home owners
3. Home owners with a mortgage
4. Renters without property or a mortgage
5. Homeless Australians
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