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Contents replacement costs ease despite gadget demand

The cost of replacing household goods has eased slightly despite rising demand for electronic items, according to the Sum Insured Australian Residential Contents Index.

The research house says replacement costs fell 0.3% in the year to July amid a competitive retail environment and pressure on disposable incomes, after rising 3.4% in 2015/16.

The lower cost of replacing some individual goods was partly offset by homeowners buying more items such as televisions, laptops and audio-visual equipment, including Bluetooth speakers.

“It is now very common for multiple persons in a household to have a laptop, notebook computer, computers with multiple screens and a smartphone,” Sum Insured Commercial Director Mike Bartlett said. “Similarly, home entertainment systems are becoming more sophisticated and TV screens are becoming bigger, have superior visual quality and are more versatile.”

The index is based on the contents of a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home with garage and a family of two adults and two children. Furniture and lighting makes the largest contribution to the index, followed by clothing and footwear.

Sum Insured – which is supported by 25 insurers – says all major retailers are represented in the index, together with more than 400 smaller retailers. The survey involves almost 250,000 prices.

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