May Housing Scorecard and Q1 Servicer Assessments Released

The May
edition of the Obama administration’s Housing Scorecard released today by the
U.S.  Departments of Housing and Urban Development
(HUD) and Treasury showed a promise of growing stability in the housing market
although officials cautioned that the overall outlook remains mixed.

The monthly
scorecard is essentially a summary of data on housing and housing finance
released by public and private sources over the previous month and/or
quarter.  Most of the data such as new
and existing home sales, permits and starts, mortgage originations, and various
house price analyses have previously been covered by MND.

This month’s
scorecard is more upbeat than many of its recent predecessors.  It notes that sales of existing houses rose
2.4 percent in April and that the inventories of newly constructed houses
increased for the first time since April 2007. 
With sales up inventories dropped to a 5.1 month supply compared to 5.2
months in March and 12.2 months at the peak in January 2009. Distressed sales
are still a big factor and serious delinquencies and underwater mortgages
continue to hold back the market.

HUD Acting Assistant Secretary Erika
Poethig said, “This month’s indicators show promise – more than 180,000
borrowers took advantage of our enhanced Home Affordable Refinance Program in
the last quarter alone and foreclosure starts are declining as more homeowners
secure mortgage relief  – but with so many households still struggling to
make ends meet it’s clear that we have 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.”

The May Housing Scorecard and the accompanying
data from the Making Home Affordable Program (HAMP) include the results of
first quarter program assessments of participating servicers.  These Servicer Assessments summarize
performance in three categories of program implementation; identifying and
contacting homeowners; evaluating homeowners for assistance, and program
reporting, management, and governance.

In the first quarter of 2012 only
three servicers were found to need minor improvement and six in need of
moderate improvement.  For the second
consecutive quarter, none was found to be in need of substantial enough improvement
to cause for Treasury to withhold program incentives as has been done in the
past.

Release of the first quarter
assessments coincides with the roll-out of the expanded eligibility criteria
for HAMP.  The new HAMP Tier II
guidelines include eligibility for homeowners with a debt-to-income ratio below
31 percent, properties occupied by a tenant, and vacant properties which the
borrower intends to rent.  Servicers began accepting applications for Tier
2 on June 1. 

The HAMP program received 122,872
requests for modifications during April and processed 84,394.  A total of 65,949 requests were denied and
18,445 were approved.  This brings the
number of requests for modifications since the inception of the program to 4.7
million, 2.03 million of which were approved. 

These HAMP statistics for May were also
broken down on a per-servicer basis as were program-to-date numbers.  These can be seen in their entirety here.

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OBAMA ADMINISTRATION RELEASES MAY HOUSING SCORECARD

WASHINGTON- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury today released the Mayedition of the Obama Administration’s Housing Scorecard – a comprehensive report on the nation’s housing market. Data in the May Housing Scorecard show promise as indicators continue to show signs of stability, though officials caution that the overall outlook remains mixed. Sales of existing homes rose 2.4 percent in April, increasing in every region of the U.S. In addition, the inventory of newly constructed houses increased for the first time since April 2007. Since sales outpaced inventory levels, the supply of homes on the market dipped to 5.1 months from 5.2 months in March and a peak of 12.2 months in January 2009. Distressed sales remain a key factor, however, as the impact of serious delinquencies and underwater mortgages continue to temper market gains. The full report is available online at www.hud.gov/scorecard.

Home-Price Scorecard: A Turning Market, But Which Way?

Our latest price scorecard raises the question of whether a real or false spring is under way.

April Housing Scorecard Shows Progress, but ‘Fragility’ Lingers

The Administration’s Housing Scorecard for April claims progress on both home sales and mortgage delinquencies “but continued fragility overall.”  Delinquencies have now declined for four straight months and sales of existing homes in the first quarter of the year were 5.3 percent higher than in the same period in 2011.

The Scorecard is essentially a summary of data on housing and housing finance released by public and private sources over the previous month and/or quarter.  Most of the data such as new and existing home sales, permits and starts, mortgage originations, and various house price evaluations have been previously covered by MND. 

The Housing Scorecard incorporates by reference the monthly report of the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and related remediation programs.  Through March HAMP has facilitated 990,000 permanent first lien modifications since it began in April 2009.  These modifications have saved homeowners an estimated $12.2 billion in monthly mortgage modifications – an average of $535 per month. 

During March there were 20,940 trial modifications started and 19,940 trials converted to permanent status. Since the program began there have been over 2 million trial modification offers extended to borrowers and 1,830,000 homeowners who entered into trials.  There are 68,630 active trials and the average trial length is now 3.5 months compared to trials nearly three times that length earlier in the program.

Eight of the 12 largest servicers participating in the HAMP program have now reached the goal of an 85 percent trial to permanent modification conversion rate.  The four which have not are still above an 80 percent rate.

Servicers also continue to improve in the manner in which they contact delinquent borrowers and complete initial HAMP evaluations.  All servicers are now above an 85 percent success rate in making contact with the right party according to program guidelines and most have at least a 75 percent success rate in completing the evaluations

There are a variety of other foreclosure prevention programs run under the HAMP mantle.  Here is the most recent data on several of them.

The Principal Reduction Alternative (PRA) program run under HAMP has been at the center of considerable controversy in recent weeks as the Federal Housing Finance Agency, one of two sponsors of HAMP, refuses to allow Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (the GSEs) to participate in principal reductions despite considerable pressure from Congress and the other HAMP sponsor, the Treasury Department.  Even without the availability of GSE loans to the program there have now been 77,640 PRA trial modifications started, 52,243 of which have been converted to permanent modifications.  The median principal reduction is $69,083, a median of 31.4 percent of the outstanding principal balance before modification.

The Second Lien Modification Program (2MP) has started modifications on 76,218 junior liens.  There have been 16,599 second liens fully extinguished and 57,097 modified.  The median lien amount of extinguished loans is $61,355 and the median modification is $7,027.

Another program run under the auspices of HAMP is the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives or HAFA which facilitates short sales and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure as alternatives to foreclosure.  To date there have been 40,252 HAFA transactions completed, almost all short sales.  HAFA completions were largely accomplished with privately held loans (26,660); portfolio loans accounted for 10,994 HAFA transactions and GSEs loans for 2,600.

Modified loans are still performing better than is usually the case.  Even among the oldest of the modifications the serious delinquency rate is 33.5 percent after two full years.  The performance of the modifications has improved over time as can be seen in the table below.

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OBAMA ADMINISTRATION RELEASES APRIL HOUSING SCORECARD

WASHINGTON- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury today released the April edition of the Obama Administration’s Housing Scorecard – a comprehensive report on the nation’s housing market. Data in the April Housing Scorecard show some promising signs of stability, though the overall outlook remains mixed. Mortgage delinquencies have declined for four consecutive months and remain substantially below year ago levels, while sales of existing homes in the first quarter were 5.3 percent higher than one year ago. Data on home prices were soft in many mortgage markets, though adjusting for the traditionally slow winter months reveals the first uptick in prices since April 2011. The full report is available online at www.hud.gov/scorecard.