Record-low mortgage interest rates helped to further stabilize the housing market over the past month, according to the latest “Housing Scorecard” released by the Obama Administration yesterday.
While new and existing home sales stuck at lower levels than those seen prior to the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit, prices have stopped slipping after 33 consecutive months of declines, the report says, and in the second quarter of 2010, U.S. homeowners gained $95 billion worth of home equity. In the third quarter, 1 million Americans refinanced their mortgages, taking advantage of some of the lowest interest rates in history.
On the distressed homes front, the administration’s oft-criticized Home Affordable Mortgage Program resulted in around 1.4 million trial mortgage modifications between April 2009 and August 2010; overall upwards of 3.73 million modifications begun through various programs during that period.
“While we cannot stop every foreclosure, we know that more has to be done to reach homeowners in distress and to help unemployed borrowers,” said Raphael Bostic, assistant secretary for the Deparment of Housing and Urban Development. TRD