The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Treasury released the Obama administration’s housing scorecard for August, which showed progress across a number of indicators, though officials cautioned that the overall recovery is still fragile.
Home prices continue to rise, increasing 7.7 percent as of June from last year, to help bring the number of underwater homeowners down by 42 percent since the beginning of last year. During the first half of 2013, nearly 3.5 million homeowners returned to positive equity.
The scorecard also showed that grantees of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program completed or rehabilitated 25,000 housing units, and direct assistance to homeowners topped the 10,000 mark.
Additionally, more than 1.2 million homeowners received a permanent mortgage modification through the Home Affordable Modification Program, and nearly 1.9 million homeowners received loss mitigation and early delinquency interventions by the Federal Housing Administration.
“As indicated in the August housing scorecard, the Administration continues to work to stabilize the housing market and help responsible homeowners get back on their feet,” HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs Kurt Usowski said. “With the number of underwater homeowners decreasing by more than 40 percent, it is clear that we are moving in the right direction. 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.”