The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Treasury introduced a monthly scorecard on the nation’s housing market last week to hold the government and industry accountable on its efforts to restore the marketplace.
Each month, the scorecard will incorporate key housing market indicators and highlight the impact of the Administration’s unprecedented housing recovery efforts, including assistance to homeowners through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).
This scorecard contains key data on the health of the housing market including:
- After 30 straight months of decline and an expectation of continued nearly 14 percent decline, home prices leveled off in the past year and expectations have adjusted upward
- Mortgages are more affordable: due to historically low interest rates, more than 6 million homeowners have refinanced, saving an estimated $150 per month on average and more than $11 billion in total. And more than 2.5 million families have purchased a home using the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit.
- Servicers report that the number of homeowners receiving restructured mortgages since April 2009 has increased to 2.8 million. Additionally, nearly half of homeowners unable to enter a HAMP permanent modification enter an alternative modification with their servicer, and fewer than 10 percent of cancelled trials move to foreclosure sale.
- However, the foreclosure prevention initiatives are not intended to help all borrowers and the market will continue to adjust for some time. The supply of homes on and off market remains near all-time highs. It will take time to work though this large inventory.
“We already know that due to the Obama Administration’s efforts, the housing market is significantly better than anyone predicted a year ago,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “This scorecard will allow the American people to monitor the Administration’s efforts to strengthen the housing market on a monthly basis and hold the government and industry accountable. Demonstrating the progress in the housing market due to the Administration’s policies, this month’s report provides a broad set of indicators showing encouraging signs of recovery.”
“The Administration’s housing policies, combined with actions of the Fed, have lowered mortgage interest rates, helped stabilize home prices and reduced the rate of foreclosures, repairing some of the damage caused by the financial crisis to the financial security of millions and millions of American families,” said Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. ” And the Administration’s loan modification programs have given more than a million responsible homeowners a chance to stay in their homes. We are going to keep working to help the Americans hardest hit by this crisis, and as we do we will make sure we are careful stewards of the scarce resources of the American taxpayer.”
The scorecard doesn’t directly address FHA’s reverse mortgage program, but the data shows that equity in household real estate is up more than $1 trillion since the first quarter of 2009. See chart below.
You can view a copy of the scorecard here.