(ECNS) -- China's average household wealth rose to 169,000 yuan (about $24,500) in 2016, an increase of 17.25 percent over the previous year, with net worth of property accounting for 65.99 percent of the total, according to a report by Economic Daily research institute.
The report covered 36,000 families across 435 counties in 24 provinces, focusing on the scale and structure of household wealth, urban-rural disparities, investment preferences and Internet finance. Household wealth is defined as a combination of financial assets, home equity, movable property, durable consumer goods and other valuables.
It shows that families in eastern areas had an average wealth of 242,604 yuan, higher than 119,768 yuan in central China and 92,304 yuan in western regions. Urban residents saw their household wealth increase mainly due to rising home values in cities.
The survey also showed educational backgrounds affected family income. On average, homeowners with a bachelor's degree or above earned 3.38 times than those with an elementary education or less. For homeowners who finished university, the average value of their cars was 7.07 times that of respondents who only went to elementary school.
Each family owned 1.044 homes on average. Average home equity was 4.48 times that of per capita disposable income, and had increased by 61 percent from the original value when the home was bought.
In the coming year, about 6.6 percent of families plan to buy a home, far higher than the percentage of home-sellers at 0.87 percent. Results show strong demand in the housing market, notably in western China, followed by eastern areas.
Auto ownership also accounts for a big part of household wealth, but only 2 percent have bought new-energy cars despite governmental stimulus programs. About 11 percent of families planned to buy a car in the next three years.
Almost all newly added family funds were in the form of bank savings. Reasons listed for the investment choice included coping with emergencies or medical costs (41.9 percent), pensions (34.99 percent) and children's education (33.56 percent).
Among mobile payment users, the largest group is between 20 to 50 years old, at about 85.90 percent.