Wealth Creation

Apparently the US economy has been generating substantial amounts of new wealth for some people:

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) – There are more millionaire households in 2004 than ever, and they have increased in number at a record rate year-over-year.

Those are the key findings of the latest Affluent Market Research Program, an annual survey conducted by market information company TNS, which began surveying affluent households in 1981. TNS found that there are now a record 8.2 million U.S. households with a net worth of more than $1 million, excluding primary residences. That’s a 33 percent increase over the 6.2 million households that met that criteria in 2003.

Half of those surveyed are retired. The number of millionaire households represents about 7 percent of all U.S. households.

My guess is that many (most?) of the 2 million households that have just entered the “millionaire” category have been put there by rapidly increasing values of second homes and investment properties. (I am willing to be proven wrong on this theory, though.) If that’s so, then we have the property price bubble to thank for this increase in the number of millionaires. Will the bubble take away as freely as it has given?