Housing Scorecard Shows Improving But Shaky Housing Recovery

There has been progress in the housing recovery – as home prices, purchases of new homes and sales of existing homes continue to show strong annual gains – but the overall recovery remains fragile, according to the October edition of the Obama administration's Housing Scorecard, a report on the nation's housing market, released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

According to HUD and the Treasury, the Obama administration's foreclosure mitigation programs continue to provide relief for homeowners as the recovery from the housing crisis continues.

‘As indicated in the October housing scorecard, the administration continues to work to stabilize the housing market and help responsible homeowners get back on their feet," says Kurt Usowski, HUD deputy assistant secretary for economic affairs. ‘With homeowners' equity at its highest level since 2007 and home prices increasing steadily, it is clear that we are moving in the right direction. As our housing market regains stability, it seems the time is ripe for private capital to begin taking a larger role in the housing finance system.’

In September, 72% of eligible non-government-sponsored enterprise mortgages benefited from principal reduction with their Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), and homeowners currently in HAMP permanent modifications with some form of principal reduction have been granted an estimated $12.1 billion in principal reduction, say HUD and the Treasury.

Homeowners in HAMP continue to benefit from meaningful payment relief, increasing their long-term likelihood of avoiding foreclosure, according to HUD and the Treasury. As of September, more than 1.2 million homeowners have received a permanent modification through HAMP, saving approximately $547 on their mortgage payments each month – an almost 40% savings from their previous payment, shows the scorecard.

Also featured in this month's report is a regional spotlight on market strength in the Providence, R.I., area. According to HUD and the Treasury, economic and housing market conditions in the Providence metropolitan statistical area are improving. The share of mortgages that remain underwater has dropped to 17.3% as of the second quarter of 2013, down from 21.5% a year earlier.

To view the Housing Scorecard for October and other months, click here.


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