U.S. household net worth climbed to a record $92.8 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2016, as the end-of-year surge in stocks and a steady climb in home prices added more than $2 trillion of wealth to household balance sheets.
The biggest contributor to the increase was the stock market’s end-of-year rally, which added $728 billion to household net worth in the fourth quarter, according to the Federal Reserve’s quarterly financial accounts report.
The stock market rallied by about 8% in the fourth quarter of 2016, following the election of President Donald Trump, with many investors anticipating tax cuts, regulatory relief and fiscal stimulus. The market has climbed an additional 6% so far this year, which isn’t captured in today’s report.
The continuing increase in national real-estate prices also contributed to the rise. The value of household and nonprofit organizations’ real estate climbed by $557 billion in the fourth quarter, reaching a record of $26.5 trillion. That exceeds the housing bubble’s peak by more than $1 trillion.