Home equity plays a large part in how much money people feel like they have. If they are swamped by hefty mortgage payments, they’re less likely to spend freely.
That’s a big part of why improvement in the housing market is so essential for a broader economic recovery. But the trend hasn’t been positive. Homeowners have an average of just 38.6 percent equity in their homes, down from 61 percent a decade ago.
Normally, home equity rises as you pay off a mortgage. But home values have fallen dramatically since the housing bubble burst in 2006. Many homeowners are losing equity even though the balance on their loan is getting smaller.
Here’s a look at the one year price change of previously occupied homes in 20 U.S. cities, from the most recent report of July data.
Source: Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index