Home Equity Up, Foreclosures Decrease

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CF Funding comments on the recent increase in home equity and decrease in foreclosures.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, along with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, released their Housing Scorecard for January 2014 on February 7th. This scorecard uses key housing indicators to evaluate the state of housing market recovery, including home sales and foreclosure starts. CF Funding is happy to share the results of this scorecard, as the housing market recovers and home sales remain strong.

The Obama Administration reminds us in the January 2014 scorecard that, although mortgage rates have risen, affordability is still above historic norms. Almost 27 million homeowners have refinanced since April 2009. Mortgage aid is outpacing foreclosures. As home prices rise annually (the FHFA purchase-only house price index rose almost 8 percent from last year), home equity is rising for many Americans, increasing the value of homes and allowing homeowners to refinance and invest in remodeling projects. According to the scorecard, “home values are on par with prices in early 2005… [and] the Case-Shiller index shows that home values are back to their mid-2004 levels.”

CF Funding would also like to share that foreclosures are down 33 percent since 2012, which is the lowest annual total since 2005. The amount of homes repossessed by lenders is also down 31 percent from 2012, which is the lowest since 2007. For those were risk for foreclosure, the Making Home Affordable Program was there to assist almost 2 million, including 1.3 million permanent modifications through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). CF Funding is happy to see that performance of HAMP modifications also continues to improve. The number of disqualifications or modifications seasoned 24 months have greatly decreased since 2009, meaning more homeowners are able to keep up with their mortgage payments.

The scorecard shared graphs from sources such as the National Association of Realtors and Census Bureau, with positive headlines such as “Expectations on House Prices Above December 2011 Projections, Far Above January 2009 Projection” and “House Prices Are Stable in November, Distressed Sales Remain Key In Recovery.”

The Obama Administration and HUD remind us that they have taken strides to work toward housing recovery over the past few years and will continue to do so. Some of the steps taken include supporting the First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit, launching the $1 billion Emergency Homeowners Loan Program, and creating the $7.6 billion HFA Hardest Hit Fund to prevent foreclosures in the hardest hit housing markets.

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Giorgio U Ferrero
CF Funding
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