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Thursday, March 11, 2021

Fed's Flow of Funds: Household Net Worth Increased $6.9 Trillion in Q4

by Calculated Risk on 3/11/2021 12:24:00 PM

The Federal Reserve released the Q4 2020 Flow of Funds report today: Flow of Funds.

The net worth of households and nonprofits rose to $130.2 trillion during the fourth quarter of 2020. The value of directly and indirectly held corporate equities increased $4.9 trillion and the value of real estate increased $0.9 trillion.

Household debt increased 6.5 percent at an annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2020. Consumer credit grew at an annual rate of 2.3 percent, while mortgage debt (excluding charge-offs) grew at an annual rate of 5.2 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.  

With the sharp decline in GDP in Q2, net worth as a percent of GDP increased sharply.  This reversed somewhat in Q3 as GDP bounced back (even as net worth increased).  And increased again 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 2020, household percent equity (of household real estate) was at 65.9% - up from 65.5% in 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 less than 65.9% equity - and about 1.5 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.  Note this graph was impacted by the sharp decline in Q2 GDP.

Mortgage debt increased by $149 billion in Q4.

Mortgage debt is still down from the peak during the housing bubble, and, as a percent of GDP is at 50.9% - down from Q3 - and down from a peak of 73.5% of GDP during the housing bubble.

The value of real estate, as a percent of GDP, increased in Q4, and is above the average of the last 30 years.