Gov’t Scorecard Finds Housing Progress

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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s monthly Housing Scorecard collects key housing data and details of the administration’s foreclosure prevention efforts. November’s report shows the residential real-estate market improving, with progress in vital areas such as new and existing home sales, home prices, and foreclosure starts and completions. For example, the report found sales of new homes up again in October and 15.4 percent higher than one year earlier. Sales of previously owned homes also rose, hitting their fastest pace in just over a year. The scorecard shows home prices, though still rising, are increasingly stable, according to the most recent data. In fact, year-over-year price increases continue to slow, reversing the previous year’s volatile price spikes. The Federal Housing Finance Administration says home prices are now just 5.8 percent below their previous peak and approximately at the same level they were in September 2005. Foreclosure starts and completions, on the other hand, continue trending downward on a year-over-year basis. Despite the overall trend, however, October saw an increase over September’s estimates, though that can largely be attributed to banks imposing foreclosure moratoriums over the holidays. More here.

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