Feb 12, 2021 - Economy & Business

Soaring home prices push the wealth-to-income ratio to record high

A luxury home under construction with a yellow and black "sold" sign.

Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The median price of a single-family home climbed 14.9% to $315,000 in the fourth quarter, according to the National Association of Realtors' latest report.

Why it matters: That was the biggest surge in the history of the data series, which dates back to 1990.

  • Every metro area tracked by the group saw home prices rise from a year ago and 88% of the metros followed (161 areas) saw double-digit price increases.

The big picture: The increase in housing prices along with the fact that the stock market is now 15% above its pre-pandemic level "has pushed the household wealth-to-income ratio to an all-time high, providing further support for the 2021 consumer recovery," Goldman Sachs' economic research team said in a note to clients.

  • "But signs of bubbles in some corners of the market have also raised questions about the potential economic fallout if the broad rally in risk assets reverses."
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