Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Household wealth grows $1.2 trillion

By Blake Ellis, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Americans got richer in the third quarter even as home values hit the skids after more than a year of increases.

Net worth for households and individuals climbed $1.2 trillion, or 2%, to $54.9 trillion in the third quarter, according to the Federal Reserve's Flow of Funds report released Thursday.

Household wealth had tumbled in the second quarter -- sliding $1.5 trillion between April and June -- after having climbed for four straight quarters. But growth returned in the third quarter thanks to higher stock values, with the S&P rising 11% following a 12% slide in the second quarter.

Corporate equities jumped $939 billion and mutual fund shares gained $378 billion, eclipsing the $698 billion dip in real estate assets -- the first decline in five quarters.

"Today's report shows that households have continued to rebuild their balance sheets throughout Q3, although the boost to net worth was completely due to a strong recovery in the equities market," Theresa Chen, an economist with Barclays Capital, said in a note to clients. "Looking forward, we expect net worth to rise further as overall economic activity increases and the employment outlook improves."

Meanwhile, liabilities fell $7.6 billion in the third quarter, as a $64 billion drop in home mortgages was slightly offset by a $22 billion gain in consumer credit. To top of page

Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.82%3.84%
15 yr fixed3.16%3.15%
5/1 ARM3.53%3.43%
30 yr refi3.77%3.81%
15 yr refi3.14%3.13%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 23,590.83 160.50 0.69%
Nasdaq 6,862.48 79.69 1.17%
S&P 500 2,599.03 16.89 0.65%
Treasuries 2.36 -0.01 -0.38%
Data as of 8:13am ET
Company Price Change % Change
CBS Corp 56.74 0.81 1.45%
Regions Financial Co... 15.66 -0.20 -1.26%
Campbell Soup Co 45.84 -4.09 -8.19%
General Motors Co 44.97 0.09 0.20%
Qualcomm Inc 66.67 0.20 0.30%
Data as of Nov 21

Sections