Swedish households wealthier than ever

Swedish households wealthier than ever
The net worth of Swedish households grew by 244 billion kronor ($35.58 billion) to 7.26 trillion kronor in the third quarter, the measure's highest nominal level ever, according to a new SEB study.

All asset classes, including housing, interest and shares, increased in value, while the debt ratio, or household debt relative to assets, is currently around 27 percent, Swedish bank SEB announced in its savings barometer for the third quarter presented on Monday.

“The strong stock market and the continued rise in housing prices are a couple of explanations for the increase in wealth during the quarter,” wrote SEB private economist Gunilla Nyström in a statement on Monday.

During the quarter, the Stockholm Stock Exchange rose 9.7 percent, while Swedish housing prices increased 0.9 percent.

The net worth of Swedish households reached its highest nominal levels ever in the quarter, but have not yet reached the previous peak achieved in the second quarter of 2007 in actual terms.

In terms of valuation in kronor, households as a group have never been richer than they are now. However, in real terms, current levels of cumulative capital are still about 20 billion kronor shy of the total household wealth levels reached in the summer of 2007.

However, household loans continued to grow strongly during the quarter, increasing 8.3 percent from last year, the same level as the previous quarter.

“Sweden has strong growth, unemployment is falling back, the stock market has risen and a large majority of households believe in rising or stagnant house prices,” said Nyström.

“In this environment, The ROT deduction for home renovations is attractive and the still-low interest rates for households to take out new loans for renovations,” she added.

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