One statistic you should have included is the proportion of homeowners - and the proportion of new homeowners - who are underwater now: trapped by a mortgage whose principal amount is higher than the market value of their property. That number is very high, and climbing.
But the engine that is driving the property values in Worcester down and driving our City toward a fiscal and housing disaster is the shocking collapse of the market value of the three-deckers!
Abandonments are spreading. The banks that take foreclosed properties when no one will bid on them are walking away from them. Boarded-up buildings are a fire and crime threat, and drive down the value of surrounding properties. With no one maintaining them, they quickly go to ruin. The effects are felt in Tatnuck as falling home values and declining City services.
This is the central challenge we need to tackle together to save our City.