Bankwest’s latest Home Truths survey has revealed the changing financial behaviours of Western Australians in response to COVID, with the state leading the country in Emergency Savings, despite fewer virus outbreaks.
Bankwest’s Home Truths survey collected the responses of more than 1800 Australians, with a focus on WA, to better understand the needs, preferences, and attitudes of those who own, or aspire to own, their own home.
The research revealed that West Australians’ savings were on the rise, with two thirds (65%) having saved money over the past three months, and, while many had eyes on big purchases, the key driver of the reserves was safety.
More than a quarter (26%) of West Australians who were intentionally saving said they were doing so to cover unforeseen or emergency circumstances – up five per cent on the national average.
The result was an 11-point leap (up from 15%) in the category from Bankwest’s previous Home Truth’s survey, conducted at the end of 2020, with the national average experiencing a similar increase of 10 points (up from 11%).
However, while building a savings safety net, West Australians were also eyeing off major purchases, with two-in-five (44%) planning to spend big in the year ahead.
Leading the way in intended purchases were vehicles (23%), major household items (18%), and a new home (14%).
However, while many West Australians were in a strong position financially, almost one-in-five (19%) reported having no savings set aside, with women far more likely than men (27% v 14%) to have no financial reserves.
Bankwest Chief Customer Officer Paul Vivian said: “The global pandemic has delivered an unprecedented period of uncertainty on the world and it’s clear from the data that Western Australians have not been immune to that.
“While other states have grappled with COVID on a near-daily basis, WA’s relative isolation and freedom over the past two years has potentially provided people the opportunity to consider safety nets more than those elsewhere.
“We also know from national data the relatively unaffected way of life for many sectors has had WA’s economy perform stronger than any other state, which provides that opportunity for people to not only save but spend.
“However, the data also shows there are a lot of West Australians in a potentially vulnerable financial position, and it’s important as we prepare to open up as a state that we ensure support is available to those who need it.”