YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Wealth in U.S. jumps thanks to rising stocks and home prices

September 25, 2013|By Walter Hamilton
  • Rising home values are fueling an increase in U.S. household wealth.
Rising home values are fueling an increase in U.S. household wealth. (Patrick T. Fallon / Bloomberg )

American households are getting richer thanks to the stock and housing markets.

The collective wealth of American households climbed $1.3 trillion to $74.8 trillion in the second quarter, according to a report Wednesday from the Federal Reserve.

That’s a 1.8% jump from three months earlier and the latest record high.

The improvement in household balance sheets stems largely from gains in stock prices and housing values. Home prices rose $525 billion, according to the central bank. The value of stocks and mutual funds advanced nearly $300 billion.

The report indicates that the financial well-being of the American public continues its slow but gradual improvement from the 2008 financial crisis.

QUIZ: How much do you know about the stock market?

Household debt inched up 0.2%, while home mortgage debt fell 1.7%.

However, the Fed data obscures the significant income disparity between rich and poor Americans.

Equity and housing gains typically flow to wealthier Americans who can afford those assets.

In other words, if you’re rich enough to own stocks or a home, you richer than you were earlier this year.


How the recession changed a family's path

FBI recommending fewer white-collar crime cases

Here's why your 401(k) retirement plan is a failure

Follow Walter Hamilton on Twitter @LATwalter

Los Angeles Times Articles