On Friday the Swiss National Bank (SNB) put out new figures showing a rise in average Swiss net worth. The numbers show that total Swiss household wealth grew 4.4% to CHF 3.3 trillion in 2014. This figure includes real estate and financial assets – including pensions, less mortgages and other loans. At the end of 2014, an average Swiss resident was worth CHF 405,000.
Most of the average CHF 17,200 net wealth rise came from real estate, followed by shares. Property values advanced in all three residential property categories, single-family homes, owner-occupied apartments and buildings with rental apartments, adding around CHF 9,100 to average wealth. Increases in the value of financial assets added CHF 11,400 bringing the total rise in asset value to CHF 21,500 per resident. An average per capita debt increase of CHF 3,300, consisting of mainly mortgage debt, brought the mean net wealth increase to CHF 17,200 per resident.
The SNB data also gives a wealth breakdown. Real estate, the largest component, accounted for 44% of the total, with insurance and pension assets second at 23.1%. The remaining 32.9% was invested in a variety of financial assets, the largest chunk being the 17.8% held in currency and deposits.
A global wealth comparison, done by Credit Suisse at the end of 2013, put Switzerland at the top with the highest per capita net worth in the world. Australia was placed second in the same survey.
It’s perhaps no coincidence that both of these countries have compulsory private pension saving.