Each month, the Department of Housing and Urban Development puts out its Housing Scorecard. Think of it as a monthly report card on how well the housing market is doing. August’s report was titled “The Obama Administration’s Efforts to Stabilize the Housing Market and Help American Homeowners.” Let’s take a look and see if those efforts are paying off.
For the full August 2013 Housing Scorecard, you can visit U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development by clicking here.
Statistics Covered in the August Housing Scorecard
- Housing prices
- New and existing home sales
- Expectations on housing prices
- Number of homes on the market
- Number of home held off the market
- Mortgage rates
- Number of refinances
- Mortgage aid (HARP, HAMP, etc.)
- Home equity gains or losses
- Savings from reduced mortgage payments
- FHA loans as a percent of total market
- Number of households counseled
- Housing assistance and stabilization performance metrics
Results of the August Housing Scorecard
- Housing prices on three major indices (Case-Schiller, FHA Purchase-only Index and Core Logic) were up. Case-Schiller reported a 12.1% gain over the past 12 months. I definitely see this trend where I live. I recently read that housing prices in Metro Detroit were up an average of 16% year-over-year. I know my neighborhood has seen huge gains and homes that previously went unsold are now moving in the market. Fantastic news, yes?
- New and existing home sales are both trending upward from lows a few years ago, with existing home sales moving higher on the chart. This is great news for sellers and correlates with housing prices being on the rise. Anyone interested in buying a home should consider getting started sooner than later. Waiting could mean higher home prices for buyers.
- Existing homes on the market still remain low but are trending up due to demand. Sellers keeping homes off the market remain high, but that’s trending down. The two are obviously related, and this trend is likely to continue as prices rise.
- Mortgage rates have risen from all-time lows but are still very low from a historical perspective. Housing affordability also remains extremely low, meaning homes are extremely affordable right now.
- Home equity had a sharp gain in the first quarter of 2013 and it’s gone up since then. Home equity is about $9 billion, up from $7 billion for the first quarter of 2012.
- Homeowner savings from reduced mortgage payments due to refinancing and payment reduction plans has topped $55 billion. HARP is a big part of this and if you haven’t refinance with HARP, you should find out if you can save.
Those are the main points covered, but there’s a lot more info in the report. You can download the PDF and check it out. Overall, the housing market is definitely in recovery and we can safely say the worst days are behind us. The main message is clear: If you want to buy a home, now is the time. If you want to sell your home, now is the time. With mortgage rates still extremely low, affordable housing is at your fingertips.