The US Housing Boom and Joining the 1%

February 25, 2021
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The US housing boom

Mirroring conditions in the UK mortgage market, Americans took out a record $1.2 trillian worth of mortgages in the final three months of 2020, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Rock-bottom rates and the boom in remote working is driving housing markets globally, with the theme appearing in our own research in the UK, Kenya and Singapore. US borrowers with high credit scores fueled growth, accounting for more than two-thirds of total originations for the quarter, as those in secure employment reassessed their housing needs. 

US mortgage volumes could top $3 trillion this year, the FT reported in January. That barrier has only been broken in 2020 and 2003.

Joining the 1%

Understanding what it takes to join the richest 1% reveals a lot about nations' attitudes to wealth, from tax policies to the manner in which governments use regulation to shape industry.

You need about $8 million to join the 1% in Monaco, for example, clearly illustrating the influence of tax policies at the top. Switzerland and the U.S. have the next highest entry points, requiring $5.1 million and $4.4 million, respectively. In Singapore, $2.9 million will get you over the threshold, whereas in the UK it'll take $1.8 million.

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