Housing Scorecard Mixed, But Shows Improvement

by Houston Agent

The new HUD scorecard offers promising data for housing.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury have released the July edition of the Obama Administration’s Housing Scorecard, and, like most of the recent housing data, it shows a mixed market that is on the improving end.

“This month’s housing data paint a mixed picture of conditions in the market – despite growing evidence of progress in the broader economy,” said HUD Assistant Secretary Raphael Bostic. “We’re continuing to see a slight improvement in home prices and a decline in mortgage defaults as our foreclosure prevention programs reach more borrowers upstream in the process. But we have much more work to do to help the market recover and to reach the many households there and across the nation who still face trouble.”

According to the scorecard, fewer homeowners fell behind on their mortgages. In June, 4.4 percent of prime mortgages were at least 30 days late — a significant decline from the peak of 5.9 percent seen in 2010. Also, seriously delinquent prime mortgages — those at least 90 days late or in foreclosure — remained approximately 22 percent below a high of 1.9 million recorded last year.

The report speculates that as new delinquencies decrease across the nation, the number of new homeowners seeking assistance through the administration’s programs may also decrease.

The report also reported new statistics about the administration’s recovery efforts. Nearly 5 million modification arrangements were started between April 2009 and the end of May 2011. This includes more than 1.6 million Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) trial modification starts, more than 938,000 FHA loss mitigation and early delinquency interventions, and nearly 2.4 million HOPE Now proprietary modifications, reflecting the reach of standards developed in the administration’s programs.

Though some homeowners may have received help from more than one program, the total number of agreements offered continues to more than double the number of foreclosure completions for the same period (2.1 million). In June, nearly 32,000 additional homeowners received a permanent modification through HAMP; more than 760,000 homeowners across the country have received a HAMP permanent modification to date with a median payment reduction of 37 percent.

Even as new delinquencies continue to fall, eligible homeowners entering HAMP have a high likelihood of earning a permanent modification and realizing long-term success. The rate of modifications moving from trial to permanent is up to 74 percent, and the average time to convert from a trial to permanent modification is down to 3.5 months.

Homeowners in HAMP modifications continue to perform well over time, with re-default rates lower than those on industry modifications. At one year, more than 84 percent of homeowners remain in their HAMP permanent modification.

“Tens of thousands of additional homeowners are getting real relief from the Administration’s programs every month,” said Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability Tim Massad. “These programs are setting standards across the industry that are yielding more sustainable assistance for homeowners in the face of the worst housing crisis in a generation.”

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