The elite of Sydney are the Asia Pacific's heaviest credit card users and spenders, according to the 2005 Synovate PAX media survey. About 87% of affluent Sydney residents have a credit card, higher than the regional average of 69%. Wealthy Sydney-siders are charging an average of $2,214 to a credit or charge card per month, far higher than the regional average of $1,253 per month. At the same time, the average household income for Sydney's affluent residents has increased in the past 12 months from $10,350 per month to $10,977 per month. The survey included 1,200 respondents from Sydney and was targeted at high end consumers with an annual household income of $80,000 or more.
Brent Stewart, Chairman and Chief Executive of Synovate in Australia said, “…the Sydney elite are using their high incomes for experiential items such as museums, cinemas, music, art galleries and sporting and social club memberships rather than the more status-oriented product purchases being made by affluent people in markets such as Hong Kong." In addition, Mr Stewart said, “Sydney residents are the largest consumers of alcohol in the Asia Pacific region and it isn't just beer and wine they are consuming, it is also whiskey and champagne,"
Technology wise, Australia lags a little behind other markets in the region. Though 85% or Sydney residents have DVD players they lag behind other Asia Pacific markets in ownership of MP3 players and internet enabled mobile phones. There is, however, more widespread internet access amongst Sydney-siders (94%) than other markets, with the regional average for internet penetration standing at 67%.
Wealthy Sydney residents are prepared to pay for quality, respond well to branding and new products and have a self-indulgent streak.