Latest Housing Scorecard Shows Gains, Mixed With Caution

August 6, 2012

The Obama Administration’s latest Housing Scorecard showed continued signs of healing for the housing market, but also offered a few indicators that may have the potential to stall progress in the months ahead. 

According to the report covering June housing data, foreclosure starts were continuing to fall. However, officials warned that foreclosure activity could pick up in the coming months due to some foreclosure processing delays. Distressed sales and the number of underwater home owners still remain a concern for the housing market and could limit future gains, according to the report.

Still, the number of underwater borrowers has dropped recently, falling 5.8 percent in the first quarter to 11.4 million from 12.1 million in the previous quarter, according to the report. Refinancings continue to soar as more home owners look to lower their monthly mortgage payments and take advantage of low interest rates, such as through government programs like the Home Affordable Refinance Program.

Meanwhile, other housing signs are also pointing to progress. For example, inventories of homes for sale remained low; existing-homes for sale fell from 2.47 million in May to 2.39 million in June. 

At the current pace, it would take 6.6 months to sell the supply of existing homes on the market and 4.9 months to clear the new homes on the market, according to the Housing Scorecard, which is released monthly by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of the Treasury. A six-month supply of homes is generally considered by most economists as a balanced market.

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Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development