Despite overall positive trends in the housing market, officials caution that the harsh winter slowed growth while the economy continues to recover from the Great Recession, the Obama Administration said in the May housing scorecard.
This is not too far off the April scorecard, which posted similar findings.
“May’s Housing Scorecard shows that the housing market recovery is picking up after the harsh winter months,” said U.S Housing & Urban Development Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research Katherine O’Regan.
“More homeowners have positive equity, foreclosures continue their downward trend, and sales of new and existing homes are rebounding. While these are all good signs, it’s clear that we must remain committed to helping homeowners as they recover from the worst housing recession since the Great Depression,” O’Regan added.
Home Prices increased to 166.8 in March, up from 165.4 in February, according to the S&P Case-Shiller home price index. Year-over-year the index is up from 148.4 in March 2013.
Existing homes sales slightly grew to 387,500 in April from 382,500 in March, but is down from 415,800 for the same period a year prior, the latest data from the National Association of Realtors said.
In addition, new home sales climbed to 36,100 in April, up from 33,900 in March and 37,700 in April 2013, the U.S. Census Bureau and HUD posted.
According to NAR, the supply of existing-homes for sale inched up, with inventory hitting a 5.9-month supply in November from a 5.1-month supply a month prior, and is up from a 5.2-month supply a year prior.
In comparison, the supply of new homes for sale dropped to a 5.3-month supply in April, from a 5.6-month supply in March, the Census Bureau and HUD said.
The foreclosure starts continued to improve and fell to 49,200 in May, from 54,600 in April, RealtyTrac’s most recent report said.
Meanwhile, mortgage delinquency rates for prime borrowers marginally increased to 2.8% in April from 2.7% in March, Lender Processing Services, now known as Black Knight Financial Services, announced.