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Last Year’s Housing Doldrums Dampen Obama Scorecard

A troubled year for housing surfaced in a February housing scorecard from the Obama administration Friday, underscoring a still-unsteady pace for home prices, mortgage origination volume, and housing supply.


Jointly released by ""HUD"":HUD and the ""Treasury Department"":http://www.treasury.gov/Pages/default.aspx, the scorecard reflects an industry still in transition from crisis to recovery.

The scorecard cited a ""National Association of Realtors"":http://www.realtor.org/ (NAR) Home Affordability Index, showing that it moved from 179.1 February last year to 194.9 this year, not far from the level seen in January.


February home prices averaged $136,700, according to the ""Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index"":http://www.standardandpoors.com/indices/sp-case-shiller-home-price-indices/en/us/?indexId=spusa-cashpidff--p-us, a few figures below $142,400 seen last year and down from $138,200 in January.

""This lasting scar of the Great Recession driven by housing's collapse is a clear sign that we are not yet out of the woods,"" HUD assistant secretary ""Raphael Bostic"":http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/about/principal_staff/assistant_secretary_bostic said in a statement.

The scorecard tallied up figures from ""CoreLogic"":http://www.corelogic.com/ that showed home prices, including those for distressed sales, declining from $149,300 to $147,900 year-over-year.

New home sales ticked up 26,800 in February, down from 25,800 last year and 27,000 in January, according to Census Bureau figures, while NAR fielded 380,800 in existing-home sales, also up from 378,300 year-over-year.

Numbers from the ""Mortgage Bankers Association"":http://www.mbaa.org/default.htm reveal that refinance loan volume fell from 1.6 million last year to 1.3 million in February but markedly improved from 950,600 in January.

Purchase originations contracted from 498,000 in February last year to 431,500 this year, down from 582,600 month-over-month.

The ""Federal Housing Administration"":http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/fhahistory reported that refinance volume ticked down from 34,300 originations to 26,700 year-over-year, down from 31,400 in January.

About Author: Ryan Schuette

Ryan Schuette is a journalist, cartoonist, and social entrepreneur with several years of experience in real-estate news, international reporting, and business management. He currently lives in the Washington, D.C., area, where he freelances for DS News and MReport.

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