May 2014 Housing Scorecard

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Treasury have released the My Housing Scorecard. The Scorecard is a comprehensive report released each month by the Obama Administration regarding the health of the housing market. This report has been released each month in an effort to actively track the housing recovery in the housing market crash.

The May Scorecard shows that the housing market is improving after a long and very harsh winter. Homeowners have more positive equity, foreclosure rates remain very low, and sales of new and previously owned homes have begun to increase.

HUD has stated, however, that they feel that it is very important to continue to assist homeowners so that the housing market can continue to strengthen and heal. Modifications and other services offered under the Home Affordable program, as well as the changes that Home Affordable has made loan-servicing companies abide by, is helping the market back from the brink.

Facts From The May Scorecard

Home Owners Increase Equity Levels. Information released from the Federal Reserve show that home equity increased $795 million in the first four months of 2014. This brings equity levels to $10.8 trillion, the highest level seen since 2007. Equity levels have increased 73 percent since the first quarter of 2012.

Return To Positive Equity. During the first quarter of 2014. It I estimated that 300,000 homeowners came out of being underwater in their mortgages are now in positive equity. The number of homeowners that are under water in their mortgage has dropped by 48 percent since the first quarter of 2012 to 5.8 million properties. It is believed that only 12.7 percent of private homes are now underwater on their mortgages.

Foreclosures Continue To Drop. In May, 49.200 new foreclosure starts were registered. This is a 10 percent decrease from the previous month and a 32 percent decrease from the same month in the previous year. This is the lowest level since December 2005.
New Home Sales Increase. April sales of new homes increased 6.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted rate of 433,000 units annually. This is, however, 4.2 percent lower than the same month in the previous year.

Previously Owned Home Sales Increase. Sales for previously owned homes increased 1.3 percent in April, the first increase seen in 2014. The stagnation of sales in this area of the housing market is most likely attributed to a very long and harsh winter throughout most of the United States. This number is still 6.8 percent lower than Aril 2013 figures. Other issues relating to the slow market is low inventory figures and increased strictness in lending standards.

Foreclosure Mitigation Programs Continue To Help Home Owners. To date, over 8.3 million mortgage modifications or other mortgage assistance has been provided to struggling homeowners since April 2009. This includes 2 million moderations through Making Home Affordable, 2.3 million mortgage interventions from the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), and 4 million modifications through HOPE Now lenders.

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