Housing Scorecard: Home Prices Improve, but Foreclosure Starts Up 33%

Housing data available through August underscore market fragility and paint a mixed picture of recovery as home prices improved slightly, while the foreclosure situation intensified, says the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in its recently released Sept. 2011 National Scorecard.

“Though August home prices as reported by S&P/Case-Shiller and FHFA improved for the fourth consecutive month after several previous months of decline, the latest housing data is a mixed bag with home prices showing continued strain from foreclosures and distressed sales,” reads the scorecard.


Foreclosure starts trended upward 33% in August, although foreclosure completions continued to lessen, thanks to mortgage aid programs that have been instituted to help homeowners. However, some of the decline is due to lender processing issues delaying some foreclosure actions.

More than 5.1 million modification arrangements were started between Apr. 2009 and the end of August 2011, including nearly 1.7 million trial Home Affordability Modification Program starts, the scorecard said, reiterating the Obama Administration’s ongoing assistance to distressed homeowners.

Other program agreements, with more than 1 million FHA loss mitigation and early delinquency interventions and 2.4 million proprietary modifications under HOPE Now, served to more than double the total number of foreclosure completions for the same period, at 2.3 million.

In August, the number of homeowners receiving permanent modification through HAMP fell somewhat to 26,000, down from July’s 28,000, for a total of 816,000 homeowners in the program since its inception.

View the September Housing Scorecard.

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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