Mortgage Debt Hits Record, Eclipsing 2008 Peak

BY  ON AUGUST 21, 2019

A recent report from the Wall Street Journal (reposted by says that U.S. mortgage debt reached a record in Q2, exceeding a peak last seen in 2008.   Data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York show that mortgage balances were up $162 billion to $9.406 trillion.  The previous high water mark was $9.294 trillion back in Q3 of 2008. The article also pointed out that total household debt has been on the rise since mid-2013 rising 1.4% in the first quarter to $13.86 trillion, marking the 20th consecutive quarter of increases.  Indeed…

“The big picture is that when you look at mortgages, which is the biggest piece of [household debt], it still looks pretty healthy,” said Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase, noting that while household debt has grown, so have incomes.

Just for a point of historical reference, the chart below shows mortgage rates since 1974:

Historical 30-year fixed rate mortgage rates – John Burns Real Estate Consulting


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