Obama Scorecard: Foreclosures Keep Trending Down, Home Sales Strong

The housing market recovery has continued into 2014, indicated by an ongoing downtrend in foreclosures, home sales remaining strong, and home prices notching annual gains, notes the Obama Administration in its January Scorecard.

“The January Housing Scorecard shows that the Obama Administration’s efforts continue to have a positive effect on the housing market,” said HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs Kurt Usowski in a statement. “With foreclosures down, home sales up, and equity continuing to grow, the housing market continues to make slow, but steadily improving progress.”

The number of properties in foreclosure dropped 33% in 2013 compared to the previous year, said the scorecard citing RealtyTrac, with foreclosure starts at their lowest annual level since 2005.

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Through the third quarter of 2013, the number of underwater borrowers dropped from nearly 7.2 million in the previous quarter to less than 6.4 million, with homeowners’ equity gaining $3.4 trillion since the beginning of 2012. 

Sales of previously-owned homes rose by 9.1%, marking the strongest annual performance since 2006. 

Through November 2013, the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s purchase-only home price index had risen 7.6% from 2012, with a light 0.1% gain from October.

“Given the current state of the market and recognizing that recovery will take place over time, the Administration remains committed to its efforts to prevent avoidable foreclosures and stabilize the market,” notes the scorecard, released dually by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of the Treasury.

Access the January edition of the Obama Administration’s Housing Scorecard. 

Written by Alyssa Gerace