Thursday, March 12, 2020

Fed's Flow of Funds: Household Net Worth Increased in Q4

by Calculated Risk on 3/12/2020 02:20:00 PM

The Federal Reserve released the Q4 2019 Flow of Funds report today: Flow of Funds.

The net worth of households and nonprofits rose to $118.4 trillion during the fourth quarter of 2019. The value of directly and indirectly held corporate equities increased $2.6 trillion and the value of real estate increased $0.1 trillion.

Household debt increased 4.1 percent at an annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2019. Consumer credit grew at an annual rate of 4.5 percent, while mortgage debt (excluding charge-offs) grew at an annual rate of 3.1 percent.
Household Net Worth as Percent of GDP Click on graph for larger image.

The first graph shows Households and Nonprofit net worth as a percent of GDP.  Household net worth, as a percent of GDP, is higher than the peak in 2006 (housing bubble), and above the stock bubble peak.

Net Worth as a percent of GDP decreased slightly in Q4.

This includes real estate and financial assets (stocks, bonds, pension reserves, deposits, etc) net of liabilities (mostly mortgages). Note that this does NOT include public debt obligations.

Household Percent EquityThis graph shows homeowner percent equity since 1952.

Household percent equity (as measured by the Fed) collapsed when house prices fell sharply in 2007 and 2008.

In Q4 2019, household percent equity (of household real estate) was at 63.8% - down from Q3.

Note: about 30.3% of owner occupied households had no mortgage debt as of April 2010. So the approximately 50+ million households with mortgages have far less than 63.8% equity - and about 2 million homeowners still have negative equity.

Household Real Estate Assets Percent GDP The third graph shows household real estate assets and mortgage debt as a percent of GDP.

Mortgage debt increased by $86 billion in Q4.

Mortgage debt is still down from the peak during the housing bubble, and, as a percent of GDP is at 48.8% (the lowest since 2001), down from a peak of 73.5% of GDP during the housing bubble.

The value of real estate, as a percent of GDP, decreased slightly in Q4, and is above the average of the last 30 years (excluding bubble).  However, mortgage debt as a percent of GDP, continues to decline.

Note: Household net worth looks to decline sharply in Q1 2020.