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Inside Washington (02/01/2011)
Inside Washington
* WASHINGTON (2/2/11)--The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury released the November edition of the Obama Administration’s Housing Scorecard, a comprehensive report on the nation’s housing market. The latest housing figures show continued signs of stabilization in house prices and high home affordability due in part to record low mortgage interest rates. One million families refinanced their mortgages in the last quarter, taking advantage of the lowest rates in history on 30-year fixed mortgages. Since April 2009, record low interest rates have helped more than 8.3 million homeowners to refinance, resulting in more stable home prices and $15.2 billion in annual borrower savings. As expected with the expiration of the Homebuyer Tax Credit, new and existing-home sales have remained below levels seen in the first half of 2010. At the same time, home prices remained level in the past year after 33 straight months of decline. Homeowners added $95 billion in home equity in the second quarter. More than 3.73 million modification arrangements were started between April 2009 and the end of August 2010--more than double the number of foreclosure completions during that time …


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