US household net worth hits a record while debt service remains low – The Property Chronicle
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US household net worth hits a record while debt service remains low

The Professor

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).

The Professor

About Robert Hughes

Robert Hughes joined the American Institute for Economic Research in 2013 following more than 25 years in economic and financial markets research on Wall Street. He was formerly the Head of Global Equity Strategy for Brown Brothers Harriman, where he developed equity investment strategy combining top-down macro analysis with bottom-up fundamentals. Prior to that, he was a senior equity strategist for State Street Global Markets, senior economic strategist with Prudential Equity Group and senior economist and financial markets analyst for Citicorp Investment Services.

Articles by Robert Hughes

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