In a week when Bitcoin broke $10,000, and equity markets hit new highs, it's easy to get caught up in market prices. But don't take your eyes off the true drivers of our economy, like the housing market. Just like equities and Bitcoin, the US housing market is also hitting all time highs but in a more slow and steady fashion. At the end of 2016, the total value of all US housing was 29.6 trillion dollars. Finally recovering all the value lost during the financial crisis.
This year house prices are up just under 6%, adding another 1.75 trillion of value to net household worth. Compare that to the total value of Bitcoin, which is only a $160 billion dollars. While household formations remain low compared to history and affordable housing stock is limited for first time buyers, we believe this is an opportunity for the economy and a reason to be positive.
With every year of economic expansion, we typically see another $2 million net new jobs being created. More importantly, current workers keep their jobs and add another year of experience which should lead to more home buying. We don't believe household formation has been low because the crisis has created a generation of renters, rather, we think it is low because people have lacked money and confidence. But with each day that passes time whittles those two factors away. Home prices have increased steadily by 6.8% per year for the last five years, but are only up 4% in total for the last 10 years.
We are only just getting back to normal in the housing sector. The potential for housing to continue to rebound and bring in more investment is an important source of new economic growth at a time when many people worry about the age of the economic expansion. The fact is, the US needs more homes, especially affordable ones for first time buyers. And when people buy homes they also spend money on a lot of other stuff. This is not just good for housing stocks, which by the way are up over 30% this year, but it's good for all types of companies. Home Depot stock, for example, is up over 30% this year.
So what does it mean for investors? There are ways to make money beyond owning Bitcoin, or Amazon, or Facebook. Although, of course, they have been excellent choices. As always, we advocate a diversified approach to risk taking. The key point here is we remain fully invested and positive in this economic environment. The housing market is just one of many things going well in the US right now.