October Housing Scorecard Shows 5.7% Rise in New Home Sales

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) along with the Treasury recently released October’s Housing Scorecard, which shows mixed signals about the housing recovery and home sales that rose slightly on a monthly basis, but are down overall.

While new home sales rose 5.7% compared to August, they were still slightly down from the prior year, the scorecard shows. And although mortgage defaults and foreclosure sales continued to trend downward thanks to more homeowners being able to secure mortgage relief, foreclosure completions went up after months of decline due to lender processing issues.

“Last month we saw a continued fall in mortgage defaults, due in part to our foreclosure prevention programs reaching more borrowers upstream in the process,” said HUD assistant secretary Raphael Bostic in a statement. “And in the last quarter, a million more homeowners refinanced their loans under some of the lowest interest rates in history. But despite these signs of progress, we have much more work to do to reach the many households who still face trouble and to help the market recover.”

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Despite the mixed signals, expectations on housing prices remain above 2009 projections.

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This latest scorecard tracks data on the Obama Administration’s Home Affordable Refinance Project (HARP), as the Federal Housing Finance Agency recently announced efforts to ease refinancing guidelines for homeowners.

Between April 2009 and September 2011, 5.3 million modification arrangements were started as part of ongoing housing market recovery efforts.

View the October 2011 Housing Scorecard here.

Written by Alyssa Gerace