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November Housing Scorecard Shows Continued Signs of Stabilization in House Prices and High Home Affordability

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RISMEDIA, November 24, 2010—The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury released the November 2010 edition of the Obama Administration’s Housing Scorecard (www.hud.gov/scorecard). The latest housing figures show continued signs of stabilization in house prices and high home affordability due in part to record low mortgage interest rates. The housing scorecard is a comprehensive report on the nation’s housing market.

“The Obama Administration has made significant strides in promoting stability for the housing market and the nation’s homeowners. Through a range of swift actions since we took office, we’ve seen millions more families able to stay in their homes and a steady rise in responsible borrowers refinancing their loans or becoming homeowners,” said HUD Assistant Secretary Raphael Bostic. “But, while we cannot stop every foreclosure, we know that more has to be done to reach homeowners in distress and to help unemployed borrowers. That’s why we’re continuing to focus on successfully implementing the programs we’ve put in place—such as neighborhood stabilization funding, additional assistance on refinancing and emergency loans to help unemployed homeowners—and ensuring that help is available to homeowners as early as possible.”

“The recent reports of problems in the foreclosure process underscore the importance of helping responsible homeowners avoid the pain of foreclosure,” said acting Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability Timothy Massad. “As we implement additional program enhancements to reach more homeowners, we continue to stress to mortgage servicers the importance of making every effort to enroll eligible homeowners in HAMP and provide meaningful alternatives to avoidable foreclosures.”

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

-An additional one million families refinanced their mortgages in the last quarter, taking advantage of the lowest rates in history on 30-year fixed mortgages. Since April 2009, record low interest rates have helped more than 8.3 million homeowners to refinance, resulting in more stable home prices and $15.2 billion in annual borrower savings.

-As expected with the expiration of the Home Buyer Tax Credit, new and existing home sales have remained below levels seen in the first half of 2010. At the same time, home prices remained level in the past year after 33 straight months of decline and homeowners added $95 billion in home equity in the second quarter.

-More than 3.73 million modification arrangements were started between April 2009 and the end of August 2010—more than double the number of foreclosure completions during that time. These modification arrangements included nearly 1.4 million trial Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) modification starts, more than 600,000 Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loss mitigation and early delinquency interventions, and nearly 1.8 million proprietary modifications under HOPE Now. While some homeowners may have received help from more than one program, the number of agreements offered were more than double the number of foreclosure completions for the same period (1.6 million).

Data in the scorecard also show that the recovery in the housing market continues to remain fragile. While the recovery will take place over time, the Administration remains committed to its efforts to prevent avoidable foreclosures and stabilize the housing market.

For more information, visit www.hud.gov.

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