June 16, 2014

Housing data: Sales up since winter

June 17, 2014 – A housing scorecard for May from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Treasury Department show that home sales are up since the winter, and foreclosure levels are the lowest since December 2005.

The agencies' data reflected trends that have also been covered in recent NAFCU Macro Data Flashreports: homeowners' equity was up $795 billion in the first quarter, the highest level since 2007; new-home sales were up 6.4 percent in April from the previous month, but down 4.2 from the previous year; and existing-home sales were up 1.3 percent in April from the previous month, but down 6.8 percent from the previous year.

"The weakness in sales reflects low inventory, strict bank lending standards, fewer distressed properties on the market, and less favorable housing affordability," the report said.

Lenders began the foreclosure process on more than 49,000 properties in May, which is down 10 percent from April and down 32 percent from a year before.

"The housing market recovery is picking up after the harsh winter months," said HUD Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research Katherine O'Regan. "While these are all good signs, it's clear that we must remain committed to helping homeowners as they recover from the worst housing recession since the Great Depression."