Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Obama Administration’s Housing Scorecard Points to Real Estate Recovery

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released the March edition of the Obama Administration’s Housing Scorecard.  What is this?  It’s a “comprehensive report on the nation’s housing market.”

According to Realtor Mag, the Housing Scorecard spells good news for the real estate industry.  The recent report on the Housing Scorecard echoes much of the news in the Chicago area—home sales are on the rise, and neighborhoods are slowly recovering from the delinquencies inherent in the foreclosure epidemic.
HUD’s View on Housing Recovery
According to a press release directly from HUD, current data on foreclosures and the real estate market show continuing signs of recovery.  The press release referred to “key indicators” of progress, including home prices that “continue to show strong annual gains” and the sustained purchase of new homes alongside sales of existing homes.  While “the overall recovery remains fragile,” the numbers point to a markedly upward trajectory.
In fact, the HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs Kurt Usowski indicated that, “in 2012, homeowners’ equity grew by more than 1.64 trillion and rising home values lifted 1.7 million of them back above water.”  At the same time, he continued to emphasize that there’s still more work ahead of us “since there are so many families and individuals still struggling.”
In order to give you an idea of the positive effects of some of the government programs, you might want to take a look at the key data released in the Housing Scorecard.
Key Data from the Housing Scorecard
The HUD press release identified key points related to “the health of the housing market” and the effects of the Obama administration’s foreclosure prevention programs.  Here is some of the important facts that HUD featured in its press release:
·      Home prices showed large gains between January 2012 and January 2013.
·      New home purchases and existing home sales continued to rise across the year.  In fact, the purchase of new homes in February 2013 showed a 12 percent increase from a year ago, which itself showed an increase from previous studies.  According to HUD, these figures may be due in large part to the First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit.
·      Foreclosure mitigation programs are working, as they’re providing relief for millions of homeowners.  According to the HUD press release, the Making Home Affordable Program has helped 1.5 million homeowners.  In fact, more than 1.1 million permanent mortgage modifications took place through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).  And at the same time, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) “offered more than 1.7 million loss mitigation and early delinquency interventions.”
·      HAMP is still working to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.  The 1.1 million homeowners who received permanent mortgage modifications through HAMP now save about $546 on mortgage payment every month.  To date, that’s $18.5 billion.
What do these statistics mean for Illinois?  As the country continues to recover from the housing crisis, home prices and sales in the Chicago area will also continue to rise.  If you have questions about the real estate market or concerns about avoiding foreclosure, contact an experienced foreclosure defense attorney today to discuss your case.
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