Despite the pandemic, restrictive government policies, and the worst economic contraction in history, US household net worth rose again in the fourth quarter to a new record. Household net worth rose to $130.155tn, up 5.6% from the previous record of $123.229tn in the third quarter, and 10.1% from $118.220tn at the end of 2019 (see first chart). Total assets rose to $147.2tn while total household liabilities increased 1.8% or $297.3bn, to $17.057tn (see first chart).
Total assets consisted of $104.6tn of financial assets and $42.6tn of nonfinancial assets. The gain in total assets was due to a 6.3% increase in financial assets which contributed $6.2tn to the increase in net worth (see second chart). Within financial assets, equities led with a 14.1% rise. Non-financial assets rose 2.5%, contributing $1.0tn to net worth (see second chart). Within non-financial assets, real estate led with a 2.6% rise. The change in total liabilities was led by a $148.9bn, or 1.4%, increase in mortgage debt to $10.9tn, while consumer credit increased $44.5bn or 1.1% to $4.2tn (see second chart).