The number of mortgages classified as seriously delinquent – at least 90 days past due – fell by 22% in May, the Obama administration said in its monthly housing scorecard. Even still, the latest scorecard from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Treasury is cautious, saying housing data offers mixed signals about the real estate economy. In May, home prices turned slightly upward, while excessive levels of foreclosures and distressed properties continued to weigh down housing, suffocating a sustainable upswing in sales. Radar Logic, a real estate analytics data firm, issued a warning about positive sales reports, saying despite the 8.2% upswing in home sales in May, a housing recovery is a long ways off with sales still down 20.4% from last year. Mortgages more than 30-days late also fell in May, with that delinquency rate dropping to 4.3%, compared to 5.9% last year, according to the housing scorecard from the Treasury Department. The administration’s Home Affordable Modification Program remains an integral part of the government’s effort to calm the foreclosure tide. In May, more than 32,000 homeowners received a permanent loan modification, bringing the total to 730,000 homeowners the past two years. Write to: Kerri Panchuk.

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