HUD’s housing scorecard provides a monthly snapshot of our nation’s housing market and measures how the Administration’s initiatives are serving Americans. Looking back on November, we witnessed notable progress among key indicators: a continued increase in existing home sales and an uptick in home values. While housing is being reenergized, there is still a need to support programs that help more hardworking, responsible Americans recover from the Great Recession.
Here’s a closer look at some of the top trends.
• Sales of previously owned (existing) homes rose again in October. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) reported that sales of existing homes (including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and cooperatives) rose 2.0 percent in October to 5.60 million (SAAR), the highest level since February 2007. Sales were up 5.9 percent from a year ago. Existing home sales have averaged 5.42 million (SAAR) so far in 2016, moderately above the 5.25 million annual rate for all of 2015.
• Home prices were up again in September with annual house price changes remaining fairly stable in a 5- to 6-percent range. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) seasonally adjusted purchase-only house price index for September estimated that home values rose 0.6 percent over the previous month and 6.1 percent over the previous year, down slightly from an annual gain of 6.3 percent in August. The FHFA index shows that U.S. home values are now 5.6 percent above their previous peak set in March 2007 and stand 33.3 percent above the low point reached in May 2011. Another index tracked in the Scorecard, the non-seasonally adjusted CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index, posted a 0.1 percent month-over-month change in home values in September and year-over-year returns of 5.1 percent, which was unchanged from August. The CoreLogic-Case-Shiller index shows home values are at their highest levels since October 2007; house prices peaked during the housing bubble in July 2006 according to this index. (The FHFA and CoreLogic-Case-Shiller price indices are released with a 2-month lag.)
The Administration’s programs continue to help struggling homeowners. In all, more than 10.9 million mortgage modifications and other forms of mortgage assistance arrangements were completed between April 2009 and the end of October 2016. More than 2.7 million homeowner assistance actions have taken place through the Making Home Affordable Program, including more than 1.6 million permanent modifications through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), while the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has offered nearly 3.4 million loss mitigation and early delinquency interventions through October. These Administration programs continue to encourage improved standards and processes in the industry, with lenders offering families and individuals more than 4.8 million proprietary modifications through September(data are reported with a two-month lag).
Although there is good news overall, the Administration remains committed to helping more Americans realize their dream of home ownership through an improving economy and new programs that will provide greater access to credit.
This is just a brief overview of the November Housing Scorecard. For more information about the health of the housing market and how Administration programs are helping families please visit: www.hud.gov/scorecard.