The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University recently released its State of the National Housing 2010 report and found that 40.3 million households spend more than 30% of their incomes on housing in 2008, and 18.6 million spend more than half their incomes on housing.
The report also found that one in seven homeowners owed more on their mortgages than their homes were worth. While the government has tried to stem the tide of foreclosures and assist some homeowners, many people who are underwater on mortgages loans have not been helped for a variety of reasons. According to the report:
As of April 2010, HAMP [Home Affordable Modification Program] had made 1.5 million offers that resulted in 637,000 currently active rial modifications and about 295,000 permanent ones. But even among those households able to qualify for this reduction in payments, the Treasury Department estimates that 40 percent will re-default.Despite problems in the housing market, demand for housing rose in 2010, helped by many first-time home buyers claiming the governments tax credit 45% of home sales were to first-time buyers. Some repeat home buyers also took advantage of an expanded tax credit to purchase homes.
The housing report states that the housing recover is still at risk:
In addition to the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit program, which may have temporarily jacked up home sales, the market faces threats from the severe overhang of vacant units, still high unemployment, and record numbers of owners with homes worth less than the amount owed on their mortgages.You can read more about the housing report.