The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury have released the June edition of the Obama Administration’s Housing Scorecard—a comprehensive report on the nation’s housing market. Data in the June Housing Scorecard show some promising signs of stability, though the overall outlook remains mixed. Home equity rose $457.1 billion in the first quarter of 2012, a 7.4 percent increase from the previous quarter and its highest level since the second quarter of 2010. Sales of previously-owned homes posted sharp gains in May of 9.6 percent compared with a year ago and new home sales in May recorded their highest level in more than two years. However, foreclosure starts and completions turned up in May, underscoring continued fragility in the housing market.
"We’re making important progress in providing relief to homeowners under the Obama Administration’s programs," said HUD Acting Assistant Secretary Erika Poethig. "With almost half a million families taking advantage of our enhanced Home Affordable Refinance Program—standing to save on average $2,500 per year—and more than 51,000 applications for the FHA Streamline Refinance Program in the first 10 days following the recent premium changes, it’s clear that the Administration’s efforts continue to provide significant positive benefits. But with so many homeowners still underwater on their mortgages and struggling to move into more sustainable loans, we have much more work ahead. That is why we are asking the Congress to approve the President’s refinancing proposal so that more homeowners can receive assistance.”
The June Housing Scorecard features key data on the health of the housing market and the impact of the Administration’s foreclosure prevention programs, including:
►The Administration’s recovery efforts continue to help millions of families deal with the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. More than 5.3 million loan modifications were started between April 2009 and the end of May 2012—including nearly 1.2 million homeowner assistance actions through the Making Home Affordable Program and more than 1.3 million FHA loss mitigation and early delinquency interventions. The Administration’s programs continue to encourage improved standards and processes in the industry, with HOPE Now lenders offering families and individuals more than 2.9 million proprietary mortgage modifications through April.
►Homeowners entering HAMP demonstrate a high likelihood of long-term success in the program. As of May, more than one million homeowners have received a permanent HAMP modification, saving approximately $536 on their mortgage payments each month, and an estimated $13.3 billion to date. Eighty-six percent of homeowners entering the program in the last 23 months have received a permanent modification, with an average trial period of 3.5 months. More than 83,000 homeowners have had their principal reduced as part of their HAMP permanent modification, and nearly 84,000 second lien modifications have been completed through the Second Lien Modification Program (2MP).
“Millions of homeowners across the country have received assistance to avoid foreclosure as a result of the programs the Administration has put into place,” said Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability Tim Massad. “Recognizing that there is not one solution for every struggling family, we have continued to strengthen and expand our efforts to offer some of the most affordable and sustainable assistance available in an unprecedented housing crisis.”