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The recently released Federal Reserve’s Z.1 Financial Accounts of the United States report (formerly known as the Flow of Funds report) shows the latest transactions in households’ balance sheets as they occurred in the second quarter of 2019. The growth in the market values of homes in the U.S. grew less proportionately to the growth in mortgages taken on them than in previous quarters, i.e., households’ liabilities grew more than their assets. Thus, for the first time since the first quarter of 2012, owners’ equity in real estate as a percentage of household real estate declined, from 64.3% to 64.2%. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, the market value of homes in the U.S. totaled $29.1 trillion and their mortgages totaled $10.4 trillion, leaving net equity at $18.7 trillion.

The above figure shows the plateauing of total real estate’s market value in the most recent quarter of data. As noted above, this is the first time since the first quarter of 2012 that the net owners’ equity as a percentage of household real estate declined. The first quarter of 2012 was also the trough of household’s assets’ market values following the Great Recession.