Despite recent reports of modest improvement in the health of the housing economy, Fitch expects the real estate sector to continue to depress the performance of banks, according to Fitch Ratings. Residential real estate is the largest exposure for banks since they make up $ 2.5 trillion, or roughly one-third of total loans, according to the agency. Home equity represents about 30 percent of this amount, with 1-4 family first lien mortgages making up the balance. Article Feed