The wealth of US households hit a record $123.5 trillion in September as rising stock market and home values and an accumulating buffer of cash defied expectations of a pandemic-related crash in household finances, according to new data from the US Federal Reserve on Thursday. The Fed’s latest report on US household, business and government financial accounts covers the period from July through September, and thus looks backwards during a period of potential volatility for family balance sheets. Millions may be losing unemployment insurance in coming weeks, and a steady flow of people into unemployment programs suggests available cash balances may have been tapped through the fall to cover expenses. The release also does not give information on how available cash is distributed between higher-wealth families and poorer ones. But as of the end of September at least, well into a period when initial rounds of pandemic-related benefits were beginning to expire for unemployed workers and small businesses, US households on the whole were holding their own. Rising equity markets added $2.8 trillion to household assets, and rising real estate values added around $400 billion. Perhaps most notable at a time of such high unemployment, balances in cash, checking accounts, and savings deposits rose a combined $473 billion to a record $13.4 trillion, suggesting that any broad spend-down of pandemic benefits had, as of September, not yet begun.