July 11, 2012 (Chris Moore)

The June release of the Obama Administration’s Housing Scorecard was a mixed bag as home prices posted steady improvement but home sales were mixed with new home sales increasing while existing home sales declined and loan performance showed Americans were paying their mortgages but foreclosure activity jumped higher.

Mortgage delinquency rates on prime, sub-prime and FHA mortgages remained fairly steady from April to May with little up or down movement in all three categories.

At the end of May, the delinquency rate of prime mortgages that were at least 30 days or more delinquent remained unchanged from the previous report at 3.9 percent. In May of last year, the delinquency rate was 4.3 percent.

Performance of sub-prime mortgages improved slightly as the percentage of delinquent loans edged downward to 28.8 percent from 28.9 percent in April and was down from 32.4 percent posted a year earlier.

Delinquency rates of mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) increased, climbing to 11.8 percent in May from 11.6 percent in April. The delinquency rate on FHA loans a year ago was 11.3 percent.

Seriously delinquent prime mortgages, those that are 90 days or more past due, declined in May with 1.381 million loans in trouble, down from 1.395 million in April and down from 1.507 million a year earlier.

Sub-prime mortgages that were seriously delinquent numbered 1.599 million in May, down from 1.609 million in April. In May of last year, 1.698 million sub-prime mortgages were seriously delinquent.

Loans insured by the FHA that were seriously delinquent increased to 713,000 in May, up from 707,000 in April, and were up substantially from 579,000 in May 2011.

HOPE NOW proprietary loan modifications declined slightly in April, falling to about 43,000 modifications from around 46,600 modifications in April. HARP refinances skyrocketed from 44,500 in February to 79,500 in March.

Home prices through the end of April showed steady improvement with all three of the indices used in the Housing Scorecard, Core-Logic, FHFA and the Case-Shiller Indices, posting pricing gains month-over-month and year-over-year.

Sales of new homes increased by a seasonally adjusted 7.7 percent from April to May while sales of existing homes fell by 1.5 percent.

Distressed property sales accounted for 25 percent of all re-sales in April, down from a revised 28 percent in March and down from 31 percent the previous year.

The inventory of existing homes remained increased slightly from the previous month with a 6.6 months supply of homes available for purchase. New home inventory fell to a 4.7 months supply of inventory, down from a revised 5.0 months supply in April.

Foreclosure activity picked back up again in May with foreclosure starts increasing 10.7 percent and foreclosure sales increasing by 7.4 percent. Compared to a year ago, foreclosure starts and sales were mixed with starts up 12.8 percent and foreclosure sales down 4.9 percent.

The estimated number of homeowners whose homes are worth less than what they owed increased to 11.1 million at the end of the 4th quarter of 2011 from 10.7 million at the end of the third quarter.

Erika Poethig, HUD Acting Assistant Secretary, stated, “We’re making important progress in providing relief to homeowners under the Obama Administration’s programs. With almost half a million families taking advantage of our enhanced Home Affordable Refinance Program – standing to save on average $2,500 per year – and more than 51,000 applications for the FHA Streamline Refinance Program in the first ten days alone, it’s clear that the Administration’s efforts continue to provide significant positive benefits. But with so many homeowners still underwater on their mortgages and struggling to move into more sustainable loans, we have much more work ahead. That is why we are asking the Congress to approve the President’s refinancing proposal so that more homeowners can receive assistance.”

Tags: June Housing Scorecard, Obama Administration, loan modifications, mortgage delinquencies, trial modifications, prime mortgages, sub-prime mortgages, FHA