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The outstanding balance of financial assets held by households marked its sharpest fall on record — by 5.2 percent — in the July-September period from a year earlier to ¥1.467 quadrillion due mainly to declining stock prices, the Bank of Japan said Tuesday.

It was the fourth quarterly fall in a row and the steepest since the central bank started the survey in 1979. The total amount of assets was the smallest since September 2005, when it stood at ¥1.461 quadrillion, the BOJ said in a preliminary report on its quarterly survey of the flow of funds accounts.

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