As it’s been for the past several months, the Obama Administration’s housing scorecard for the month of May is a mixed bag of indicators, with foreclosures starts declining but underwater mortgages increasing.
“This month’s indicators show promise—more than 180,000 borrowers took advantage of our enhanced Home Affordable Refinance Program in the last quarter alone and foreclosure starts are declining as more homeowners secure mortgage relief—but with so many households still struggling to make ends meet it’s clear that we have more work ahead,” said HUD Acting Assistant Secretary Erika Poethig in a statement.
Distressed sales remain a “key factor,” says the report, and any market gains through the increased sales of existing homes were offset by the impact of serious delinquencies and underwater mortgages.
With home values still down in most parts of the country, underwater mortgages are still on the rise. There are now 11,119,000 underwater borrowers, up from 10,723,000 in the last period and 11,089,000 last year.
Total home equity remains slightly lower than the first quarter of 2009, at approximately $6 trillion, compared to a peak of more than $13 trillion in the first quarter of 2006.
View the May Housing Scorecard.
Written by Alyssa Gerace