Obama Housing Scorecard May 2012 – Housing Recovery Mixed

Existing Homes On the Market At Low Level, Number Of Units Held Off the Market Remains High- HUD

(Best Syndication News) - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury released the May 2012 edition of the Obama Housing Scorecard this week. The housing outlook remains mixed. While there still is a large amount of distressed and foreclosed properties on the market, there has been an increase in new housing starts as well as an increase in overall existing property sales throughout the entire US.

The gains were modest. In April 2012, the existing home sales increased 2.4 percent. Every region in the US had increased. The newly built homes are improving as well. The report said that newly constructed homes increased for the first time since April 2007. However, delinquent and underwater properties are still causing a slow real estate market recovery.

The government foreclosure programs have helped over 1.1 million homeowners with Making Home Affordable Program (HAMP). HOPE Now lenders have helped modify around 2.9 million mortgages through April 2012.

At the end of April, HAMP now is reporting that over one million homeowners have achieved a permanent home loan modification through the program’s participating lenders. Homeowners who participated in HAMP have saved an average of $535 per month on their mortgage payment. To date, the government estimates that homeowners have saved $12.7 billion with the loan modifications. During the last 22 months, 86 percent of the homeowners achieved a permanent modification. The average trial period was 3.5 months.

HAMP also has a Principal Reduction Alternative, which lowers the amount of debt owed over time. With the principal reduction program, homeowners, have on average, lowered how much they owe by around 31 percent.

There remains a higher amount of homes held off the market. The number of exsiting homes listed for sale during Q1 2012 was at the lowest it has been since Q1 2005. Conversely, units held off the market are at the highest level since 2003, which is as far back as the report shows.

Housing prices remain stable, and mortgage rates are at record lows. This creates a high affordability index for homebuyers.

Overall, the housing recovery is slow. Most likely the slow recovery is due to the glut of foreclosed properties. Because of the large inventory that are not listed on the market, it will more than likely take a long time for the housing market to recover.

By: Dave Reddy

ref: HUD, May 2012 Obama Housing Score Card PDF Report

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