Data released in the Obama administration’s January Housing Scorecard show signs that the housing market is continuing to strengthen, with the number of underwater borrowers declining while home prices improve.
Officials warn that, while the recovery is in full effect right now, there is regional variation and the overall U.S. economy still remains fragile.
“The Obama administration’s efforts to speed housing recovery are showing continued progress as the January scorecard indicators highlight clear forward momentum in the housing market,” said the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs Kurt Usowski.
Broken down, the housing recovery looks promising. The inventory of existing homes for sales continued to decline, dropping from a 4.8 months’ supply on the December scorecard to a 4.4 months’ supply, according to data from the National Association of Realtors. The significance of this is highlighted when looking back at the November scorecard, when there was a 5.3 months’ supply of housing.
With fewer homes on the market, fewer homes are being sold. The number of existing homes for sale dropped from 415.8 million in December to 411.7 million in January, according to NAR, U.S. Census Bureau and HUD. 10.67
The number of underwater borrowers continues to be chipped away, with 10.67 million borrowers still underwater, down from 10.78 million in the previous quarter, according to the CoreLogic ($28.50 0.2%).
Mortgage aid continues to keep foreclosure fillings down, with 3.2 million foreclosure completions since April 2009, according to RealtyTrac.
“The housing market has clearly bottomed out nationally and is turning a corner with new home construction increasing to a level not seen since June 2008 and home prices showing strong annual gains. But with so many households still struggling, we have important work ahead,” added Usowski.