Credit: user 401(K) 2012

A growing number of homes are emerging from under their mortgages, buoyed by value appreciation during the first quarter, according to Federal Reserve data published by HUD in its latest Housing Scoreboard, released Friday.

Home equity improved by $457.1 billion during the quarter, bringing nearly 750,000 homes back into positive value territory and reducing the ranks of homes underwater on their mortgages by 5.8%.

Nationally, prices have continued to improve since the first quarter, according to both the S&P/Case-Shiller and Federal Housing Finance Agency home price indices, making it likely that the number of homes worth more than what’s owed on them is even higher today.

See HUD’s full July 2012 Housing Scoreboard.

Claire Easley is a senior editor at Builder.