November 21, 2010 (Shirley Allen)
The “Scorecard” released by the Treasury Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in November indicates that the housing market is beginning to show signs of stabilization.

The key points of discussion in the November Scorecard were:

– An additional 1 million families refinanced their mortgages in the last quarter, taking advantage of the lowest rates in history on 30-year fixed rate mortgages. Since April of 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 Homebuyer Tax Credit, new and existing home sales 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 during that time. These 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.

Tags: HUD, refinanced mortgages, lowest rates, homebuyer tax credit, loan modifications, HAMP, FHA, loss mitigation, foreclosure completions, fixed rate mortgages, existing home sales, treasury department