August 6, 2012 (Chris Moore)
The housing market continued to paint a fragile picture according to the July release of the Obama Administration’s Housing Scorecard as new and existing home sales fell and delinquencies increased while foreclosure activity and home prices improved.
Mortgage delinquency rates on prime, sub-prime and FHA mortgages were up across the board in June with the delinquency rate of prime mortgages that were at least 30 days or more delinquent increasing from 3.9 percent in May to 4.1 percent in June. In June of last year, the delinquency rate was 4.4 percent.
Performance of sub-prime mortgages also worsened as the percentage of delinquent loans climbed to 29.5 percent from 28.8 percent in May but was still down from 32.7 percent posted a year earlier.
Delinquency rates of mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) increased, climbing to 12.0 percent in June from 11.8 percent in May. The delinquency rate on FHA loans a year ago was 11.5 percent.
Seriously delinquent prime mortgages, those that are 90 days or more past due, declined in June with 1.375 million loans in trouble, down from 1.381 million in May and down from 1.500 million a year earlier.
Sub-prime mortgages that were seriously delinquent numbered 1.595 million in June, down from 1.599 million in May. In June of last year, 1.697 million sub-prime mortgages were seriously delinquent.
Loans insured by the FHA that were seriously delinquent increased to 721,000 in June, up from 713,000 in May, and were substantially higher than the 585,000 delinquent loans in June 2011.
HOPE NOW proprietary loan modifications increased in May, growing to about 45,100 modifications from around 43,000 modifications in May. HARP refinances skyrocketed from 49,500 in April to 67,500 in May.
Loan originations for home purchases increased 6.7 percent from the first quarter of 2012 to the second quarter but were 9.0 percent lower than last year while refinance originations were up 1.1 percent from the first to the second quarter and were up 41.8 percent from the second quarter of last year.
Home prices through the end of May showed continuing improvement with all three of the indices used in the Housing Scorecard, Core-Logic, FHFA and the Case-Shiller Indices, posting pricing gains from April to May.
Sales of new homes fell by a seasonally adjusted 8.2 percent from May to June while sales of existing homes fell by 5.4 percent.
Distressed property sales accounted for 24 percent of all re-sales in May, down from a revised 26 percent in March and down from 29 percent the previous year.
The inventory of existing homes fell slightly from the previous month with a 6.6 months supply of homes available for purchase. New home inventory increased to a 4.9 months supply of inventory, up from a revised 4.5 months supply in May.
Foreclosure activity improved in June with foreclosure starts falling 3.3 percent and foreclosure sales falling by 6.4 percent. Compared to a year ago, foreclosure starts and sales were mixed with starts up 0.3 percent and foreclosure sales down 11.7 percent.
The estimated number of homeowners whose homes are worth less than what they owed declined to 11.4 million at the end of the 1st quarter of 2012 from a revised 12.1 million at the end of the fourth quarter of 2011.
Tags: August Housing Scorecard, Obama Administration, loan modifications, mortgage delinquencies, trial modifications, prime mortgages, sub-prime mortgages, FHA