New numbers from the Federal Reserve show that American households* were $2 trillion richer at the end of June they were at the end of March. That’s a 4% jump over three months—and the first time household net worth has risen since the second quarter of 2007.
What accounts for the good fortune?
First, people are continuing to pay down their debt—or they’re having it written off. Household debt, which is mostly mortgages but also includes things like credit cards and bank loans, fell by a third of a percent for the quarter.
The bigger boost, though, came from the increasing value of assets. For the first time in more than two years, households saw the value of their real estate holdings increase. The value of stocks, mutual fund shares, life insurance and pension funds all grew, too—for the first time since the third quarter of 2007.
So to keep the momentum we simply need to keep paying off our obligations and use our will power to keep the stock and real estate markets heading upward.
*Technically this data series is for households and non-profit organizations, but households overwhelmingly make up what’s being measured, so I’ve joined in the generally accepted practice of collapsing the discussion down to just “households.”