Sunday
April 20, 2014

Housing Scorecard Positive; Still a Ways to Go

|
-A A +A

Housing Scorecard Positive; Still a Ways to Go

Home owner’s equity grew by more than $815 billion in the first quarter—reaching its highest level since the first quarter of 2008, the Obama Administration reports in its May housing scorecard. 

Home prices are increasing across the country, boosting home owner’s equity. Existing-home sales and new home sales are strengthening, inventories are rising, and foreclosures are falling, according to the report. 

"Despite the positive news, we have important work ahead since there are so many families and individuals still 'underwater' with mortgage balances higher than their home’s value,” says Kurt Usowski, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs. Government officials say the full housing recovery will still take time. 

Home owners are continuing to lower their mortgage payments through refinancing or by taking advantage of government programs, according to the Scorecard report. The Making Home Affordable Program has helped more than 1.6 million home owners since it was created in 2009. Nearly 1.2 million home owners have received a permanent loan modification through the Home Affordable Modification Program, and have saved about $547 per month on their mortgage payments, according to the report. The report also notes that home owners who have received HAMP modifications have posted lower delinquency and re-default rates than industry modifications. 

The metro areas with the highest number of home owners taking advantage of HAMP include: Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Calif.; New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.Pa.; Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla.; and Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Ill.-Ind.-Wis.

Source: “Homeowner equity reaches highest level since 2008,” HousingWire (June 7, 2013) and “Foreclosure Programs Aid 1.6 Million Home Owners: Obama Scorecard,” HousingWire (June 7, 2013)

Read more

Housing Scorecard Shows Big Gains in 'Fragile' Recovery