Americans take on more mortgage debt as housing recovers

More Americans are buying houses and taking on mortgage debt at a time when higher home prices also are boosting their ownership stakes. The trends, revealed in a Federal Reserve report Friday, reflect the healing of the U.S. housing market nearly a decade after the real estate bubble burst. The Fed’s quarterly report on household wealth showed Americans’ net worth climbed 1.2 percent during the April-June quarter to $89.1 trillion. Stock and mutual fund portfolios increased 2.3 percent to $21.2 trillion. Housing wealth rose 1.9 percent to $25.6 trillion. The value of checking and savings accounts, as well as pension entitlements, also climbed. Household wealth, or net worth, reflects the value of homes, stocks and other assets minus mortgages, credit card debt and other borrowing. The Fed’s figures aren’t adjusted for population growth or inflation.

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