June Housing Scorecard Shows Faster Recovery in Some Markets

RIS Media

17 July 2013

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury this week released the June 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 home prices continuing to rise and new and existing home sales remaining strong, although officials caution that there is regional variation and the overall economic recovery remains fragile. The full Housing Scorecard is available online at www.hud.gov/scorecard.

“The Obama Administration’s efforts to speed the housing recovery are showing continued progress as the June scorecard indicators highlight ongoing improvements throughout the housing market,” says HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs Kurt Usowski. “Foreclosure starts and completions are down significantly from one year ago; and since January 2012, rising home values have lifted 2.4 million homeowners back above water. That said, we remain cautious because although mortgage delinquencies are trending down, they still remain quite high compared to historic norms.”

“Homeowners who receive help from the Administration’s HAMP program continue to show success at avoiding foreclosure, which benefits families, communities and the economy,” says Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability Tim Massad. “HAMP has also put into place important standards for the mortgage servicing industry that have improved outcomes for struggling families more broadly.”

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 foreclosure mitigation programs are providing relief for millions of homeowners as we continue to recover from an unprecedented housing crisis. More than 1.6 million homeowner assistance actions have taken place through the Making Home Affordable Program, including more than 1.2 million permanent modifications through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), while the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has offered more than 1.8 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 3.6 million proprietary mortgage modifications through April.

Homeowners in HAMP continue to benefit from significant payment relief increasing the long-term likelihood of avoiding foreclosure. As of May, more than 1.2 million homeowners have received a permanent modification through HAMP, saving approximately $547 on their mortgage payments each month – a 39 percent savings from their previous payment. In May, 69 percent of homeowners with eligible non-GSE mortgages benefitted from principal reduction with their HAMP modification. Homeowners currently in permanent HAMP modifications have been granted an estimated $10.6 billion in total principal reduction.

Also featured this month in the Administration’s Housing Scorecard is a regional spotlight on market strength in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area. The foreclosure crisis in Portland developed later and differently than in other areas of the nation. While home price appreciation during the housing bubble peaked later and rose less steeply in Portland than it did nationally, home prices fell nearly as sharply.

“While Portland’s economy was hit harder by the recession than the nation as a whole, it has nonetheless had a somewhat stronger recovery. Portland’s housing market is also recovering a bit faster than the national data show for the broader housing market,” says Usowski. “As this Regional Spotlight reports, the Administration’s efforts have helped nearly 35,000 Portland households avoid foreclosure. But as legal issues that have recently slowed the foreclosure process in Oregon are settled, we still have much to do to reach the many households who still face trouble and to help the Portland market’s continuing recovery.”

The Housing Scorecard Regional Spotlight features data on the health of the Portland metropolitan housing market and impact of efforts to help homeowners at the local level including:

Economic and housing market conditions in Portland are improving. The unemployment rate for the region peaked at 11.1 percent in May 2009 and has since fallen to 7.3 percent as of May 2013.The foreclosure completion rate in Portland has been comparable to the national rate since April 2009, and foreclosures have been trending downward in Portland as well as nationally.

The Administration’s Hardest Hit Fund and Neighborhood Stabilization Programs have fueled local foreclosure prevention efforts and market stability, while nearly35,000 households have received mortgage modifications, many directly through Administration programs. Treasury provided $220 million to Oregon to provide assistance to struggling homeowners through the Hardest Hit Fund. The number of homeowners benefitting from the program has continued to increase, with Oregon reporting more than 80 percent of program funds already committed or spent on behalf of struggling homeowners.Moreover, approximately $ 13.1 million has been awarded to the Portland metropolitan area 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 Portland and the state of Oregon.

In addition, nearly 7,000 Oregon homeowners are currently benefiting from over $450 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 $50 billion in consumer relief benefits to more than 620,000 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.

For more information, visit http://www.hud.gov/.