According to a news release from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the median price for a U.S. home has noticeably risen over the past several years. Earlier this month, a statistical profile from the American Housing Survey showed that homes purchased in 2011 cost a median price of $110,000, which is a 2.3 percent increase from the median price of $107,500 paid by Americans in 2009.
HUD sponsors the American Housing Survey, and the U.S. Census Bureau conducts its research. According to HUD’s own admission, the American Housing Survey is “the most comprehensive housing survey in the United States.”
Why are we only now getting information from 2011? It’s simple: national data gets collected every odd-numbered year (that means data is again being collected as we speak for the 2013 report), and metropolitan area data is collected on a rotating basis. In addition to the news about general American housing trends, the Census Bureau also released profiles for 29 metropolitan areas in the United States.
The news has important implications for housing costs, mortgage statistics, and “a variety of other physical and financial characteristics about housing in the U.S.” According to Kurt Usowski, the HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs, the recent data report stresses the significant link between American real estate and our country’s general financial health. He explained, “the last five years remind us how central housing is to each of us personally, to the fiscal health of our cities and counties, and the national economy.”
He also emphasized the importance of the American Housing Survey for keeping everyday Americans and government officials up to date on the status of the housing market in our country. “For 40 years,” Usowski highlighted, “the American Housing Survey has provided a unique set of data that connects the detailed characteristics of who is living in homes to the detailed characteristics of the homes themselves.” From the survey, he explained, “we can see why people chose to move, how often homes need repairs, and the extent to which housing costs are outpacing home growth.” In other words, the survey provides us with key information for tracking the shifts in housing across the country.
The survey results are also significant for homeowners who continue to struggle with mortgage payments—it provides important information that can help policymakers find solutions to the housing crisis and to speed financial recovery. The key to financial recovery, many commentators suggest, is housing. Indeed, Usowski echoed this sentiment as he noted that “all the information” from the survey “can help inform policymaking around continued recovery in the U.S. and in metropolitan areas around the country.”
As a result of its collaboration with the American Housing Survey, the Census Bureau plays a key role in housing recovery, too. Arthur Cresce, Jr., the Assistant Division Chief for Housing Characteristics at the Census Bureau, indicated that he’s pleased to be able to collaborate with HUD on American housing profiles. He also reiterated Usowski’s emphasis on the connections between housing trends and financial recovery: “Analysts in government and business study the nation’s housing very closely, and the AHS yields a wealth of information that can be used by professionals in nearly every field for planning, decisionmaking, and market research.”
What does all this information mean? In short, the collaboration among HUD, the Census Bureau, and the American Housing Survey shows that the median price of homes in America has increased. And when it comes to financial recovery, that’s a good thing. What’s more, the data collected through this collaboration can help policymakers and analysts to speed housing recovery (and general financial recovery) in our country.
In the meantime, many families are still at risk of foreclosure. While statistics continue to show promise for our economy and the housing market, don’t wait to seek foreclosure advice if you’ve had trouble making your mortgage payments. An experienced foreclosure defense attorney can speak to you today.
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