(fashion) Those earning $150,000 a year are no longer considered to be among the richest Australians - unless they have wealthy parents.
University of Sydney researchers have come up with five new classes - investors, home owners, borrowers, renters, and the homeless.
Those who make their money from investment properties are now considered to be Australia's wealthiest class - with the researchers concluding the real estate you own is now more important than the size of your salary.
Having rich parents helps too especially in Sydney, the world's second most expensive property market in the world for workers after Hong Kong.
Those earning $150,000 a year are no longer considered the richest class of people in Australia (pictured is a stock image)
'In short, social mobility is increasingly associated with the asset position of parents not only for the super-rich but also for ordinary households,' the paper on inequality said.
1. INVESTORS: These landlords derive income from renting out their investment properties and claim tax breaks on their capital gains
2. OUTRIGHT HOME OWNERS: Have paid off their mortgage, and own investment properties too
3. HOME BORROWERS: Are paying off a mortgage
4. RENTERS: Considered part of the 'churners' class and are often on welfare
5. HOMELESS: These people have no assets, wages or welfare from the state
During the past two decades, wages have grown by an annual pace of 3.1 per cent compared with 7.55 per cent for house prices in Sydney.
Making matters worse, Australian pay increases have been at below-average levels for the past six years.
'This has led to a steady increase in the average house price to income ratio – with dwelling prices at nine times the median household income – and an unprecedented rise in household debt, with many more people continuing to hold mortgage debt into old age,' it said.
Sydney's median house price of $877,220 is more than 10 times an average Australian, full-time salary of $85,000.
This means someone earning $150,000 a year would struggle to pay off a typical, suburban home in the western suburbs without being in