The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury have jointly released the January edition of the Obama Administration's Housing Scorecard – a comprehensive report on the nation’s housing market. Data continue to show signs that the housing market is strengthening, with the number of underwater borrowers continuing to decline as home prices continue to improve, although officials caution that there is regional variation and the overall economic recovery remains fragile.
“The Obama Administration’s efforts to speed housing recovery are showing continued progress as the January scorecard indicators highlight clear forward momentum in the housing market,” said HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs Kurt Usowski. “The housing market has clearly bottomed out nationally and is turning a corner with new home construction increasing to a level not seen since June 2008 and home prices showing strong annual gains. But with so many households still struggling, we have important work ahead.”
The January 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 foreclosure prevention programs are providing relief for millions of homeowners as we continue to recover from an unprecedented housing crisis. Nearly 1.5 million homeowner assistance actions have taken place through the Making Home Affordable Program, while the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has offered more than 1.5 million 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 three million proprietary mortgage modifications through November.
► Homeowners in HAMP continue to benefit from deep payment relief, helping them sustain their mortgage payments over time. As of December, more than 1.1 million homeowners have received a permanent modification through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), saving approximately $545 on their mortgage payments each month, and an estimated $17.3 billion to date. Eighty-seven percent of homeowners starting the program in the last two and a half years have received a permanent modification of their mortgage through HAMP. Payment relief is strongly correlated to sustainability of modified payments over time. As a result, after six months in the program, more than 94 percent of homeowners remain in their permanent HAMP modification. HAMP modifications continue to exhibit lower delinquency and re-default rates than industry modifications as reported by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
"Making Home Affordable has directly helped more than one million homeowners avoid foreclosure and indirectly helped millions more by prompting critical changes in the way the mortgage industry assists struggling homeowners," said Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability Tim Massad. "Every foreclosure avoided has positive impacts for families, communities, and our economy.”
Also featured this month in the Administration’s Housing Scorecard Regional Spotlight on market strength is Detroit, Michigan. Similar to other parts of the Midwest, the foreclosure crisis in Detroit developed earlier and differently than in other areas of the nation.
“The continuing signs of stability that the national data show for the broader housing market are also beginning to appear in Detroit,” said Usowski. “As this Regional Spotlight shows, the Administration’s efforts have helped nearly 100,000 Detroit households avoid foreclosure. A modest local economic recovery is underway, but we have much more to do to reach the many households who still face trouble and to help the Detroit market recover more broadly.”
The Housing Scorecard Regional Spotlight features data on the health of the Detroit housing market and impact of efforts to help homeowners at the local level including:
► Economic conditions in Detroit are improving despite the city experiencing a much higher rate of foreclosures and a higher unemployment rate than the rest of the nation. Although nearly 7 percent of housing units have been foreclosed since early 2009, the rate is down to 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012. The unemployment rate for Detroit peaked at 16.0 percent in October 2009 and has declined to 10.8 percent as of December 2012.
► The Administration’s Hardest Hit Fund and Neighborhood Stabilization Programs have fueled local foreclosure prevention efforts and market stability, while nearly 100,000 households have received mortgage modifications, many directly through Administration programs. Treasury provided $499 million to the State of Michigan to provide assistance to struggling homeowners through the Hardest Hit Fund. The number of homeowners benefitting from the program has continued to increase due to growing demand. Moreover, approximately $208 million has been awarded to Detroit through HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program to help purchase or redevelop residential properties and address the effects of abandoned and foreclosed housing. Both programs have helped provide increased stability to the Detroit housing market.
► In addition, more than 10,000 Michigan homeowners are currently benefiting from nearly $500 million in refinancing, short sales and completed or trial loan modifications, including principal reduction on first and second lien mortgages provided under the landmark National Mortgage Servicing Settlement. Nationwide, the settlement has provided more than $26.1 billion in consumer relief benefits to over 300,000 families. That is in addition to the $2.5 billion in payments to participating states and $1.5 billion in direct payments to borrowers who were foreclosed upon between 2008 and 2011.