The U.S. housing market showing signs of strengthening with home equity ranking at its highest level in more than two years. Home equity has increased by more than $860 billion since the end of 2011, writes the Department of Housing and Urban Development in its September housing scorecard released in conjunction with the Department of the Treasury.
While recovery remains fragile, the signs indicate home sales are moving in the right direction, the scorecard reports.
“As the September housing scorecard indicates, our housing market is showing important signs of recovery – with homeowner equity at a four-year high and summer sales of existing homes at the strongest pace in two years,” said HUD Acting Assistant Secretary Erika Poethig. “The Administration’s efforts to keep housing affordable and refinances strong are critical with so many households still struggling to make ends meet. That is why we continue to ask Congress to approve the President’s refinancing proposal so that more homeowners can secure the help they need.”
HUD touts housing programs providing foreclosure assistance as having a strong impact on stabilizing the market for U.S. homeowners.
“Tens of thousands of additional families benefit from the Administration’s programs every month, which offer some of the deepest assistance available to prevent foreclosures,” said Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability Tim Massad. “As the housing market continues to recover, we remain focused on helping eligible families access this assistance.”
Homeowner equity rose $406 billion in the second quarter of 2012 alone, and has risen 13.5% since the end of 2011. Additionally, the number of borrowers who are underwater has decreased by 11% since the end of last year, the administration reports.
View the September housing scorecard.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker