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Obama Administration Housing Scorecard Shows Continued Increase in Home Affordability, Neighborhood Stabilization

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RISMEDIA, July 22, 2010—The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury recently released the second edition of the Administration’s Housing Scorecard showing that, thanks in part to interest rates continuing at all-time lows, home affordability in the U.S. remains near the most attractive levels in 10 years. In addition, for the first time, the report now tracks the impact of HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), which has spurred local investment and is beginning to make affordably-priced homes available to consumers. The Housing Scorecard is the Administration’s comprehensive report on the nation’s housing market.

“The housing market is performing better than the predictions made over a year ago,” said HUD Assistant Secretary Raphael Bostic. “We’re absolutely not claiming victory, but due to the Obama Administration’s efforts, improved home affordability is continuing to provide opportunities for prospective, qualified home buyers, while promising neighborhood stabilization efforts are helping hard hit neighborhoods start to recover. ”

“The Administration’s programs to stabilize the housing market have helped many across the country weather this crisis,” said Treasury Assistant Secretary Herb Allison. “Our initiatives continue to offer responsible homeowners the chance to avoid the often painful process of foreclosure.”

The July Housing Scorecard features key data on the health of the housing market including:

-Historic low rates continue to promote affordability: Families continue to benefit from the lowest rates in history on 30-year fixed mortgages. Since April of 2009, record low rates have helped more than 7.2 million homeowners to refinance, resulting in more stable home prices and $12.9 billion in total borrower savings.

-Over twice as many homeowners helped compared to foreclosure completions: Nearly three million borrowers have received restructured mortgages since April 2009, outpacing the 1.24 million foreclosure completions for the same period. As more families are able to remain in their homes, household assets continue to rise with $1.1 trillion in home equity gained since April 2009.

-Tracking the impact of HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program, a $6 billion effort—including $2 billion in Recovery Act funds—that is helping local jurisdictions address the foreclosure crisis by allowing grantees to acquire foreclosed homes and repair, redevelop, rent or sell them to low and moderate income households.

-Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) permanent modifications are on pace and sustainable for the homeowner, as more than 50,000 trial agreements graduated to permanent in June and default rates remain low: Growth in permanent modifications have averaged more than 50,000 per month over the last six months. For HAMP permanent modifications in place six months, less than 6% are 60+ days delinquent, and the default rate (90+ days delinquent) is less than 2%.

-New HAMP Metrics for Servicer Compliance: This month, the report includes a new dashboard to help officials monitor homeowner experience. This dashboard includes timetables for full implementation of the Home Affordable Foreclosures Alternative Program (HAFA) and the Second Lien Modification Program (2MP). New measures include time to answer incoming calls, time to resolve complaints and outcomes for homeowners not eligible for a HAMP modification or unable to convert to a permanent modification. While cancellations remain high as many borrowers who received temporary modifications were not able to meet eligibility requirements such as verifying their income or successfully making trial payments, servicers report that close to 50% of homeowners not offered a HAMP permanent modification are offered a proprietary modification or are able to bring their loan current. Fewer than 2% have gone to foreclosure sale and fewer than 10% have entered the foreclosure process.

Meanwhile, data in the scorecard show that the recovery of the housing market remains fragile, with some measures suggesting recovery will take place over time. For example, in May, sales of new and existing sales dropped after the expiration of the tax credit, and the supply of homes on and off the market remains near all-time highs; it will take time to work through this large inventory.

For more information, visit www.hud.gov.

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