The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development releases their Housing Scorecard each month in an effort to track key housing market data and the results of the government’s foreclosure mitigation programs. The comprehensive report covers new and existing home sales, mortgage rates, prices, foreclosures, and more. In May, the scorecard once again found encouraging signs that the market has improved. For example, new home sales hit an eight-year high in April, rising 23.8 percent over one year earlier. At the same time, sales of previously owned homes also rose due to solid gains in the Midwest and Northeast. The gains are significant as it is evidence that there remains a high level of buyer demand, despite affordability concerns caused by higher prices and fewer homes available for sale this spring. Part of the reason for that may be because mortgage rates remain near three-year lows. Historically low mortgage rates have been helping ease the effects of sharp price increases and they continue to entice interested buyers. Also in the report, foreclosure starts and completions fell again in April, continuing a long, downward trend caused, in part, by rising home values. Still, despite the encouraging signs, the report cautions that there is still work to be done to help the housing market and underwater homeowners who are still struggling. More here.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s monthly Housing Scorecard collects key market data and the results of the federal government’s foreclosure mitigation programs in an effort to provide a monthly snapshot of how the housing market is doing. Home sales and prices, foreclosure starts and completions, prices, equity, and mortgage modification numbers are among the topics commonly covered in the report. Recently released, the February scorecard finds a number of encouraging signs. For example, sales of previously owned homes rose to their second highest pace since 2007 at the beginning of this year and were 11 percent higher than one year earlier in January. Home prices were also up to start the year. According to Federal Housing Finance Agency numbers, home prices have shown a 5.6 percent increase year-over-year for the past six months and are now nearly 30 percent higher than at their low point in 2011. New home sales, on the other hand, fell, dropping 9.2 percent in January from December’s figure. As always, the report cautions that – despite encouraging signs that the housing market has recovered – there is still work to be done to boost home sales, help homeowners who remain underwater, and continue to reduce mortgage delinquency rates. More here.
By most measures, 2015 has been a good year for the housing market. An improved employment picture and still-low mortgage rates boosted home sales and led to real estate’s best performance since the recovery began. Typically, however, things begin to slow down as the end of the year approaches and much of the country is affected by winter weather. This year, on the other hand, the progress has continued into October, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s most recent Housing Scorecard – which tracks key market data and the federal government’s recovery efforts. The report highlights a 10.7 percent increase in the number of new homes sold in October, as well as the fact that sales of previously owned homes have risen year-over-year for 13 straight months and are now 3.9 percent higher than at the same point one year ago. Those successes add to an improved picture overall. For example, newly initiated foreclosures have been below the pre-crisis monthly average for the past seven months and home prices, though still increasing, have settled somewhat. Despite the encouraging statistics, however, the report also cautions that conditions vary from market to market and there is still work to be done to reduce mortgage delinquency rates, help underwater homeowners, and foster home sales. More here.