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U.S. Treasury says housing market improves, challenges ahead

08-21-2010 08:08 BJT

WASHINGTON, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Obama administration's efforts to support the housing market has resulted in increased affordability and continued house price stabilization, but more work needs to be done to stem foreclosures and delinquencies, the U.S. Treasury Department said on Friday.

Housing prices remained level in July after 30 straight months of decline, and historic low interest rates continued to promote home affordability and refinancing options for the nation's families, the department said in its monthly Housing Scorecard, a comprehensive report on the nation's housing market.

More than 3.15 million modification arrangements were done from April 2009 through the end of June 2010, according to the report.

The Obama administration launched a series of programs to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosures in April 2009, including the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), the administration's premier housing rescue program to trim mortgage payments for homeowners.

"Data in the scorecard show that the recovery in the housing market continues to remain fragile, with some measures suggesting recovery will take place over time," said the report. "For example, foreclosure starts went up slightly in July from the previous month, but remain well below July 2009 levels."

U.S. home foreclosures rose nearly 4 percent in July from a month earlier to a total of 325,229, marking the 17th consecutive month with a foreclosure activity total exceeding 300,000, according to RealtyTrac, a leading housing market data tracking company.


Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: Xinhua

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