Total U.S. household debt rose by $601 billion in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, or 1.4%, surpassing $14 trillion for the first time, the New York Fed’s quarterly household credit and debt report showed. Bloomberg reports:
That’s $1.5 trillion above the previous peak in the third quarter of 2008. Overall household debt is now 26.8% above the second-quarter 2013 trough.
Mortgage borrowing rose by $120 billion to $9.56 trillion. The rate for a 30-year mortgage has fallen by about 100 basis points over the past year, adding to home purchasers’ buying power. For example, a $500,000, 30-year loan costs about $300 less per month.
“Mortgage originations, including refinances, increased significantly in the final quarter of 2019,” Wilbert Van Der Klaauw, vice president at the New York Fed, said in a statement.