According to the U.S. Census Bureau, homeownership rates got even closer to pre-housing boom numbers in the first quarter of 2012. Steven Senne/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Steven Senne/AP

Renzo Salazar maintains the yard around a foreclosed house in Miami after the bank hired him to keep the home from falling into complete dilapidation. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A pre-foreclosure sign is seen in front of a home in Miami. Supporters of a plan to reduce the principals owed by many homeowners facing foreclosure say it would prevent larger losses and keep people in their homes. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Joe Raedle/Getty Images

David Butler and one of his safer tools. Chris Arnold/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Chris Arnold/NPR

A Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac mortgage services representative (left) helps a person register for mortgage help in Miami. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Trader Peter Tuchman reacts on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on March 13. That same day, the Dow Jones industrial average had its highest close since 2007. Richard Drew/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Richard Drew/AP

Apple's store in New York City's Grand Central station employs about 315 people. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Spencer Platt/Getty Images

In December, Freddie Mac CEO Charles Haldeman (from left), FHFA acting Director Edward DeMarco and Fannie Mae CEO Michael Williams testified on Capitol Hill about the Federal Housing Finance Agency's performance. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A sign for Freddie Mac in front of its headquarters in McLean, Va. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Alex Wong/Getty Images

One of Freddie Mac's restrictions blocks people who have a short sale in their past from refinancing for two to four years following the short sale. Rich Pedroncelli/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Rich Pedroncelli/AP

A newly constructed home in Westport, Conn., in December. The past three years have been the worst for new housing starts since before record-keeping began, according to economists at IHS Global. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Spencer Platt/Getty Images

According to the Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller Home Price Index released Tuesday, home prices were down 3.4 percent this year as of October — around a 35 percent drop from their peak. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Scott Olson/Getty Images

A counselor (right) talks with a man about training programs at a nonprofit training and job placement center in Menlo Park, Calif. Seventy percent of the long-term unemployed and underemployed would like the government to offer more job training services, an NPR/Kaiser Family Foundation poll found. Paul Sakuma/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Paul Sakuma/AP