DSNews.com, July 23rd, 2016
HUD’s latest housing scorecard, which examines housing recovery data, HUD’s programs performance, and areas for improvement, showed continued progress in the nation’s housing recovery for June—with growth in key indicators such as existing-home sales, homeowners’ equity, and home value appreciation.
“While our housing market is on a healthy trajectory, it’s clear we must continue to support programs that help more Americans recover from the Great Recession,” said Katherine O’Regan, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Policy Development and Research under HUD.
Sales of existing homes rose to the highest pace in more than nine years in May 2016. According to The National Association of Realtors (NAR), sales of existing homes rose 1.8 percent in May to an annual rate of 5.53 million and appear to be at their fastest pace since February 2007’s rate of 5.79 million. Additionally, sales were 4.5 percent higher year-over-year and have been above the 5.0 million mark for 14 of the past 15 months.
HUD’s report also shares that homeowners’ equity continues to increase and currently sits 3.7 percent higher than the fourth quarter of 2015, giving it a total of more than $13.0 trillion–the highest level since the first quarter of 2006, when it peaked at almost $13.3 trillion. The Federal Reserve reports the change in equity since April 1, 2009, when the Administration initiated actions to try and stabilize the housing market, now sits at nearly $6.8 trillion and equity has risen by more than $6.5 trillion since the end of 2011.
O’Regan also points out that home prices continue with an upward trend in April as the annual house price changes remain “fairly stable” in a 5- to 6-percent range. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) seasonally adjusted purchase-only house price index for the month of April 2016 estimates home values rose 0.2 percent over the previous month and 5.9 percent over the previous year. The FHFA index reports U.S. home values at 3.1 percent above their previous peak set in March 2007 and stand 30.2 percent above the low point reached in March 2011.
Additionally, O’Regan shares that the Administration’s foreclosure mitigation programs continue to aid millions of homeowners as the recovery from the housing crisis continues. She states more than 10.5 million mortgage modifications and other forms of mortgage assistance arrangements were completed between April 2009 and the end of May 2016. Likewise, she says more than 2.6 million homeowner assistance actions have taken place through the Making Home Affordable Program, including over 1.6 million permanent modifications through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has offered more than 3.2 million loss mitigation and early delinquency interventions through May.
According to O’Regan, “These Administration programs continue to encourage improved standards and processes in the industry, with lenders offering families and individuals more than 4.7 million proprietary modifications through April.”