The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury have released the December edition of the Obama administration's Housing Scorecard.
The Housing Scorecard finds that foreclosure starts and completions dropped 21% in November. This can be attributed to delays resulting from lenders' reviewing of internal procedures related to foreclosure processing. Although this is the biggest month-over-month decrease since 2005, the decline is likely to be temporary, as lenders will eventually revise and resubmit foreclosure paperwork in the coming months, the report says.
In addition, new- and existing-home sales have remained below the levels seen in the first half of the year, which can be attributed to the expiration of the home-buyer tax credit. However, this month's report also shows that home prices and home equity declined moderately, as prices remain unsettled at this fragile stage of the recovery, the report adds.
Finally, more than 3.9 million mortgage assistance offers were initiated between April 2009 and the end of October 2010 – more than double the number of foreclosure completions during that time. These actions included over 1.4 million Home Affordable Modification Program trial modification starts, more than 600,000 Federal Housing Administration loss mitigation and early delinquency interventions, and nearly 1.8 million proprietary modifications under Hope Now, the report notes.