August Housing Scorecard - Home Prices continue to Improve

Mortgage Rates At Record Lows, Homes Remain Highly Affordable - Credit: HUD Obama's Housing Scorecard August 2012 report

(Best Syndication News) - The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) along with the US Department of the Treasury released the August 2012 report of the Obama Administration's Housing Scorecard. The latest report finds that home prices are improving, but caution remains for a frail market as it recovers slowly.

Because of the increased housing prices, around 1.3 million homeowners are now above water on their mortgages. HUD Acting Assistant Secretary Erika Poethig said that the median sales prices are the highest since the first months that the Obama Administration has been in office. The August 2012 housing prices are being forecast to be on an increasing trend and the prices are above the January 2009 forecast. The homeowners who were under water have dropped by 11 percent since the end of last year. Part of the reduction could be attributed to over half-a-million refinances that were completed so far this year through the government’s Home Affordable Refinance Program.

Over 1.2 million homeowners have reached out for help with the Making Home Affordable Program. The Federal Housing Administration has also offered 1.4 million loss mitigation and early delinquency interventions. Participating lenders of the HOPE Now program have offered over three million proprietary mortgage modifications through July.

The government HAMP program has helped over 1 million homeowners achieve a permanent mortgage loan modification. The new lower monthly mortgage payment average around $538 less after the homeowner has successfully completed HAMP. The government estimates that $14.4 billion has been saved from the mortgage loan modifications. Over the last two years, the success rate for homeowners getting a permanent home loan modification has been 87 percent.

The number of homes kept off the market is still very high. The number of the homes on the market remains low. There was a slight drop down on homes held off the market and there was a slight increase in homes on the market. The changes were minor.

The 30-year fixed rate mortgages are at record lows. Additionally, the affordability index remains high. Each area may have different averages and affordability. Overall, buying a home remains a bargain.

By: Dave Reddy

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August 2012 Obama Administration's Housing Scorecard Report PDF

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