Obama Scorecard: Housing Shows Annual Gains, Home Equity Jumps $570 Billion

The state of the nation’s housing market continues to make impressive strides toward its recovery progress, specifically as home prices report double-digit annual growth and homeowners’ equity increases, according to the Obama Administration’s October Housing Scorecard.

As of August 2013, home prices were up 12.8% over the past 12 months, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index referenced by the Administration. This year-over-year growth represents the highest annual increase since February 2006 and the index’s highest level since August 2008. 

Compared to the previous month, home prices for this top-20 city composite group were up 1.8%.

Homeowners also saw their home equity increase $570 billion, or 6.5%, during the second quarter of 2013, according to Federal Reserve data cited by the Administration in its October report. 

Since the beginning of 2012, homeowner’s have seen their equity rise sharply, with equity up $3.1 trillion, or 50%, during this period. It currently stands at $9.28 trillion, which is also the highest level since the fourth quarter of 2007.

“The Administration’s goal is to stabilize the housing market and provide security for homeowners,” the Administration writes in the scorecard’s October edition.

To meet these objectives, the Administration has developed a “broad approach” in implementing both state and local housing agency initiatives, mortgage modifications and refinancing, and work towards homeowner assistance programs. 

Specifically, the Administration’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) includes more than 1.2 million permanent home modifications as of September for struggling homeowners facing foreclosure. 

The efforts of HAMP have saved homeowners approximately $547 on their mortgage payments each month and almost 40% savings from their previous payments, according to the October Housing Scorecard.

These savings represent an estimated $22.9 billion in monthly mortgage payments since the inception of the program in 2009.

While housing continues to show both considerable monthly and annual recovery progress, the Administration suggests that the state of the nation’s housing market is still fragile.

“Given the current fragility and recognizing that recovery will take place over time, the Administration remains committed to its efforts to prevent avoidable forecloses and stabilize the housing market,” writes the Scorecard.

Due to the government shutdown, the Obama Administration did not release a September Housing Scorecard.

Written by Jason Oliva

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