Home equity in the Chicago area is showing the effect of nearly five years of declining house prices. At the end of 2010, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), homeowners here who bought in 2005 were underwater by $53,146 (the average amount their debt on the home exceeded the home’s value). When will things turn around? Assuming an immediate rebound in prices in 2011 and a price growth of 4 percent a year, it will take six years, the report stated. “[But] if prices stay flat for a year and then go back to growing normally, you’d have to factor that in,” says Danielle Hale, an NAR research economist. “It would take that much longer.”