Thursday, December 06, 2007

U.S. Household Net Worth At Record High of $59T

RECORD: $528,000 Net Worth Per Household

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The net wealth of U.S. households rose to $58.60 trillion in the third quarter as financial asset gains outpaced slowing real estate values, a Federal Reserve report on Thursday showed (see chart above).

In the July-September period household net worth grew for the 20th consecutive quarter and established a new record high. The record $58.6 trillion posted in the most recent quarter was up from the second quarter's $57.98 trillion, the previous record high. Compared to last year, household net worth has increased by $4 trillion, which translates to more than $36,000 of additional net worth per American household.

Household wealth has increased by almost $20 trillion in the last five years, and the average American household now owns about $528,000 worth of stuff (assets, real estate, etc.), free and clear of any debt! In 2002, average household wealth was about $370,000, and today it's more than half a million dollars. Therefore, in just the last five years we've become more than a third richer (+43%), which is truly amazing!

Bottom Line: In spite of $100 oil, $3 gasoline, a weak dollar, and subprime mortgage troubles, Americans are wealthier than ever before, and probably wealthier than any country on the planet, with average household wealth of more than $500,000!

10 Comments:

At 12/06/2007 9:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The post below is about a coaches making a million a year and this one is touting how wealthy everyone is. If this were broke down in quintiles of the population I think the story looks a lot different. Basically 20% own 80% of the wealth.

 
At 12/06/2007 10:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How's homeownership doing? Could you show the good news about how homeownership has gone up the last couple of quarters?

thanks,

bob

 
At 12/07/2007 12:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fully 28 percent of U.S. consumers have no spare cash and live paycheck to paycheck.

I wonder what the trimmed average net worth is when you exclude say the top and bottom 10 or 20 percent?

 
At 12/07/2007 1:11 PM, Blogger Michael said...

I wonder what the median is doing.

 
At 12/10/2007 4:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

might mention to the other anon... fully 28 months
old on your 28% story. and as it turned out,
truman defeated dewey.

 
At 4/17/2008 2:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee; according to U.S. census data, the MEDIAN net worth is about $95,000. Seems nobody ever tells the truth anymore. If 9 guys have $1 and 1 guy has $91, The average worth is $10. Tell that to the 9 guys and all your going to do is irritate them. The greater the spread between median and average, the more concentrated things are at the top.

 
At 4/18/2008 10:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What no one seems to realize is that the increase in wealth is due almost entirely to an increase in real estate prices. The increase in salaries has not increased at a pace anywhere near real estate values. Loose financing and low interest rates have pushed real estate artificially high. I think the real estate decline will be limited to 10% across the entire country. The real surprise we're in for is that values will increase very slowly, 1 to 2% over the next 10 years as household income catches up. If home loan interest rates rise for any reason we will see a further decline in home values, possibly another 5 to 10%. Does anyone see a problem with my logic?

 
At 5/02/2008 1:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haha. Isn't George Bush and the Republicans AMAZING!! Look at how they've skyrocketed the net worth of the average American!

Are you serious? Get a clue. If Bill Gates walks into a bar, the average net worth of each bar patron there is multi-millions.

The percentage of Americans living in poverty has increased every year under George Bush. The middle class has shrunk, with far more falling toward the low end than going up, and the gap between the rich and poor in this country has never been greater.

 
At 7/09/2008 2:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the comments so far, no one seems to be fooled by the article's rosy view. one might think it was written by one of Bush people...

 
At 5/16/2009 10:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aaah, 2009. This is why I love the internet. You can find these salient articles from 2 years ago, and when cast on a computer's monitor, they read all shiny any new - Hmmm.... in spite of "$100, oil, $3 gas, and subprime mortgage troubles" Americans' increase in wealth remained "truly amazing" according to the good Doctor.

I guess it never occurred to this professor at the time, that those 'net worth' figures were just as arbitrary as $100 oil. ----- ah well. Now you don't need a PhD in economics to figure out that spending more than you earn and tirelessly counting on endless appreciation from the one 'asset' you would likely not want to sell was not a good idea.

 

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