President Barack Obama says improvements in the housing industry are encouraging but there are still too many mortgage holders who owe more than their homes are worth.

In his weekly media message, Obama blames congressional Republicans for that, saying they failed to pass legislation he proposed in February that would lower lending rates for millions of borrowers.

Obama cited an increased pace in construction of single-family houses and apartments in September, the fastest in more than four years. Home sales are also up compared with last year.

For the GOP, Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake of Arizona says the administration is guilty of too much regulation of business.

He says that while Obama inherited a fragile economy, "he's done little to improve it."

Note:  The Republican address was not available when this story was posted.