September 12, 2016

Measuring Progress in the Housing Market

New affordable homes in Orlando FloridaApril 2005

HUD’s latest housing scorecard provides a snapshot of the recovery of our nation’s housing market during August. As we look back, we witnessed notable progress among key indicators, including a surge in new home sales, increasing home values, and a continued decline in foreclosure starts and completions. Although this scorecard notes that the housing market is on a healthy trajectory, we must stay committed to helping American families and homeowners.

Here’s a closer look at the trends in some of the top indicators: 

  • July purchases of new homes surged to the fastest pace since October 2007. New single-family home sales rose 12.4 percent in July to 654,000 (SAAR) and were up 31.3 percent over a year earlier.
  • Home prices were up again in June 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 June estimated that home values rose 0.2 percent over the previous month and 5.6 percent over the previous year, down slightly from an annual gain of 5.7 percent in May. The FHFA index shows that U.S. home values are now 3.5 percent above their previous peak set in March 2007 and stand 30.8 percent above the low point reached in March 2011.
  • Foreclosure starts and completions continue to fall. Lenders started the public foreclosure process on 36,863 U.S. properties in July, a decrease of 5 percent from June and 19 percent from a year earlier. Newly initiated foreclosures have declined for the last four consecutive months and have been below the pre-crisis (2005 and 2006) monthly average of 52,280 since March 2015.   Lenders completed the foreclosure process (bank repossessions or REOs) on 27,907 U.S. properties in July, a decrease of 8 percent from the previous month and 41 percent from a year ago. This is the fifth consecutive annual decline in foreclosure completions.

The Administration’s programs continue to help struggling homeowners. In all, nearly 10.8 million mortgage modifications and other forms of mortgage assistance arrangements were completed between April 2009 and the end of July 2016. Nearly 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 3.3 million loss mitigation and early delinquency interventions through July. These Administration programs continue to encourage improved standards and processes in the industry, with lenders offering families and individuals nearly 4.8 million proprietary modifications through June (data are reported with a two-month lag).

While this reflects 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 August 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.

Katherine O’Regan is the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Policy Development and Research.

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