A turnaround in the housing market, coupled with stock market gains, boosted U.S. household net worth to record levels in the second quarter, reports the Federal Reserve. The figure -- the value of homes and other assets minus mortgages and other debts -- increased by 1.8 percent, or $1.3 trillion, to an unprecedented $74.8 trillion.
Household net worth benefited from residential values that increased by $525 billion and stock and mutual fund values that climbed nearly $300 billion. Mortgage debt, meanwhile, was reduced by $42 billion -- a development that was balanced out by a $42 billion gain in non-mortgage credit. The $74.8 trillion figure for the 2013 second quarter is up from $52 trillion at the bottom of the recession in early 2009 but down from a high of $68.1 trillion in the third quarter of 2007.