HOME EQUITY FALLS: Average home equity plunged from more than 61 percent at the start of 2001 to 38 percent in the January-March quarter this year, the Federal Reserve said Thursday.
NET WORTH GROWS: Americans' overall net worth grew 1.65 percent in the same period, because of stock market gains. But stock prices have fallen since March.
LITTLE HELP: Normally, when people pay down their mortgages, home equity rises. But many homeowners are paying off mortgage interest and losing equity at the same time. And the outlook for the housing market remains dim, with prices expected to fall through the year.