Things are looking up for the housing market, according to The HUDdle, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Official Blog, as homeowners’ equity rose again, the number of homeowners in negative equity continues to decline, and purchases of new homes increased.
In the third quarter of 2015, homeowners’ equity was up $361 billion (3.0%) from the second quarter of 2015, for a total of nearly $12.4 trillion–the highest level since the fourth quarter of 2006.
Also in the third
quarter, CoreLogic estimated that 4.1
million homes, or 8.1% of residential properties with a mortgage, were in
negative equity. This compares to 4.3 million, or 8.7%, that were reported in
negative equity in the second quarter and 5.2 million, or 10.4% one year ago.
The HUDdle says the current housing programs are helping struggling homeowners. In all, more than 10.1 million mortgage modifications and other forms of mortgage assistance arrangements were completed between April 2009 and the end of November 2015. More than 2.5 million homeowner assistance actions have taken place through the Making Home Affordable Program, including nearly 1.6 million permanent modifications through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), while the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has offered more than 3.0 million loss mitigation and early delinquency interventions through November. These Administration programs continue to encourage improved standards and processes in the industry, with lenders offering families and individuals more than 4.6 million proprietary modifications through -October (data are reported with a two-month lag).