Housing Scorecard Shows Signs of Recovery
The Obama Administration released its January Housing Scorecard last week, which showed increased new and existing home sales, high levels of home affordability, and reduced foreclosure activity alongside unstable housing prices.
Each month, the Housing Scorecard records and analyzes key housing market indicators and highlights the impact of the Obama Administration's housing recovery efforts. According to the report, new and existing home sales increased in December, but remained below levels seen in the first half of 2010. Home affordability remained at record high levels through the end of the year, due in part to record low mortgage rates.
Meanwhile, as lenders reviewed internal procedures related to foreclosure processing, there were fewer foreclosure starts and completions in December than in prior months. The decline is likely to be short-lived, however, as lenders will eventually revise and resubmit foreclosure paperwork in the coming months.
Over 4.1 million modification arrangements were started between April 2009 and the end of December 2010–more than double the number of foreclosure completions during that period. These arrangements included trial modifications under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), FHA loss mitigation and early delinquency interventions, and proprietary modifications under HOPE Now.
Despite these positive trends, the Administration emphasized in its report that housing market conditions remain unstable at this early stage of recovery.