NY Times – Still Crawling Out of a Very Deep Hole

At the same time, home equity — for most families, the most important store of wealth — has been devastated by the housing bust, with $7.4 trillion wiped out since home prices peaked in 2006. Nascent signs of life in the spring selling season are welcome, but it will take a far stronger economy, or far more aggressive antiforeclosure efforts, to substantially rebuild lost equity anytime soon. Even at that, many of the nearly 12 million homeowners who owe more on their mortgages than the homes are worth will never get above water.