Obama Administration’s September 2012 Housing Scorecard shows stronger Housing Market

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(Best Syndication News) - The September 2012 edition of the Obama Administration's Housing Scorecard featured an improving housing market with rising home equity values. The August home sales volume was the highest in over two years, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the US Department of Treasury said in their monthly report.

The government's report still voiced concern for the fragile recovery in the housing market. However, home equity values have increased $860 billion since the end of 2011. Since the third quarter of 2008, the higher home values pushed 1.3 million families above water when their home's worth became more than their mortgage. During the second quarter of 2012, homeowner equity increased $406 billion, or 5.9 percent.

HUD Acting Assistant Secretary, Erika Poethig, said that the latest housing scorecard provides signs that the housing market is beginning to recover. One sign being: homeowner equity is at a four-year high. Poethig also said that summer existing home sales were at the fastest pace in two years.

The report also monitors the refinancing, foreclosures, and the number of people helped with the government programs for struggling homeowners. The Making Home Affordable Program helped almost 1.3 million homeowners with assistance. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has offered over 1.4 million with loss mitigation and early delinquencies. Participating HOPE Now lenders have helped over three million with propriety mortgage modifications through July.

As of August, HAMP has helped over one million homeowners reach a permanent modification; on average, these homeowners have saved around $539 in monthly mortgage payments. The savings are estimated to be worth $15 billion to date. During August, principal reduction options were given to 81 percent of the homeowners who had eligible non-GSE mortgages. The success rate for permanent home loan modifications in the last two years was 87 percent.

By: Dave Reddy

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