Real Estate

Obama Scorecard: Housing headed in right direction

The latest data from the Obama Administration indicates housing is getting back on its feet. However, much like the last scorecard, these numbers are a reminder that the process is a slow one. 

“The Obama Administration’s efforts to speed the housing recovery are showing continued progress as the April scorecard indicators highlight ongoing improvements throughout the housing market,” said the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs Kurt Usowski. 

Home prices continued to inch up — although very slightly — with the S&P Case-Shiller home price index rising from 146.1 in February to 146.6. However, compared to year-over-year numbers, March’s index is significantly higher than the 134.1 index score a year earlier. 

Existing-home sales dropped from 412,500 in February to 410,000 in March, according to data gathered from the National Association of Realtors, U.S. Census Bureau and HUD. This drop is likely due to a stark drop in inventory nationwide.

Despite low inventory, the housing supply did continue to slowly increase, with existing homes rising from a 4.6-month supply to a 4.7-month supply. The supply of new homes for sale remained unchanged at a 4.4-month supply, according to data from NAR. 

The number of foreclosure starts fell from March’s 73,100 to 70,100 in April, the scorecard concluded when citing RealtyTrac data.

Mortgage rates continued to fluctuate as they have most of the year. The latest report showed rates at 3.35% for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage. This is down from the May 2 report, when the 30-Year, FRM hovered at 3.40%, data from Freddie Mac revealed.

Additionally, mortgage delinquency rates continued to edge down for prime borrowers from 3.8% to 3.6%, based on Lender Processing Services stats.

Usowski added, “The annual increase in home prices is the highest in nearly seven years and sales of existing and new homes are both up over 10% from one year ago. But with so many households still struggling to make ends meet, we have important work ahead.”

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