Obama Scorecard: Homeowners’ Equity at Highest Level Since ’07

Growing equity and a rebound in the sale of new and existing homes are some of the key indicators showing progress in the housing market, the White House announced this week.

Homeowners’ equity was up nearly $795 billion in the first quarter of 2014, reaching more than $10.8 trillion, the highest level since the second quarter of 2007, the May edition of the Obama Administration’s Housing Scorecard shows. The change in home equity since April 1, 2009 now stands at more than $4.7 trillion.

In the first quarter of 2014, more than 300,000 borrowers returned to a position of positive equity in their homes, shows the comprehensive report on the nation’s housing market.

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“The standards set by the Making Home Affordable program have significantly changed the mortgage servicing industry,” says Treasury Acting Assistant Secretary Tim Bowler in a news release. “Treasury is committed to holding servicers accountable to these standards, and as a result has seen continued improvement by the largest servicers.”

The number of underwater borrowers has fallen 48% — from 12.108 million to 6.284 million — lifting more than 5.8 million homeowners above water from the beginning of 2012 through the first quarter of 2014, the report shows, citing data from CareLogic.

Sales of new homes rebounded in April, bucking a trend of downward performance in four of the previous five months.

New home sales increased to 6.4% to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 433,000 in April, following a 407,000 pace in March. However, new home sales were down 4.2% from one year ago, the report shows.

The Scorecard is published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Written by Cassandra Dowell

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