Obama Scorecard: Housing Shows Promise, But More Mortgages Underwater

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. 

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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

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  • Leave it to the Administration to praise its own worthless efforts.  

    If lender comp on HECMs were at the same levels they were in 2007, I doubt there would be even half of the HECM lenders we see today.

    With originations at such low levels, the waste in resources and costs coming from government noise like this shows how real the current administration is committed to keeping the environment “green.”  This is the Great Housing Depression and unfortunately the Administration like the mythical king refuses to acknowledge that it has no clothes.

    The government has done a terrific job at getting the big banks from releasing its severly defaulted properties on the market. 

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