The housing market made important progress in its slow path to recovery in August, including gains in home prices and equity and sales of existing homes, according to the Obama Administration’s most recent housing scorecard.
While the overall recovery remains “fragile,” officials caution in the report, released jointly by the Departments of Housing and Urban Development and the Treasury, it’s headed in the right direction.
“With the number of underwater homeowners decreasing by more than 40%, it is clear that we are moving in the right direction,” said HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs Kurt Usowski. “As we regain stability in our housing markets, it is important to remember that we still have a long way to go in making sure that our housing finance system is strong for future generations.”
Highlights for the month include continued strong annual gains in home prices, with the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s purchase-only index rising 7.7% in June from the previous year.
Additionally, millions of homeowners emerged from negative equity as the number of underwater borrowers has fallen by 5 million to 7.1 million as of the second quarter of 2013, which CoreLogic largely credited to an improvement in home prices.
Existing home sales increased during the period, as did the number of first-time buyers.
Written by Alyssa Gerace