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HUD Scorecard Touts Initiatives Despite Housing Health

Housing market conditions remained fragile despite numerous initiatives put forward by the Obama administration, according to a recent ""scorecard"":http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=Aug2011_Scorecard.pdf released Thursday by ""HUD"":http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/HUD and the ""Treasury Department"":http://www.treasury.gov/Pages/default.aspx. The administration cited numerous industry-respected analytics sources and painted a helpful portrait of the homeownership and refinance endeavors it has made possible.

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Sources polled for the government gauge of housing and economic health included ""CoreLogic"":http://www.corelogic.com/, ""Federal Housing Finance Agency"":http://www.fhfa.gov/ (FHFA), the ""National Association of Realtors"":http://www.realtor.org/ (NAR), and ""Standard & Poor's"":http://www.standardandpoors.com/home/en/us, among others.

The ""[h]ousing market remains fragile as data through July paint a mixed picture of recovery,"" the scorecard said. ""Home prices are reported by S&P/Case-Shiller and FHFA were up for the third consecutive month in July after several previous months of decline.

""Given the current fragility and recognizing that recovery will take place over time, the Administration remains committed to its efforts to prevent avoidable foreclosures and stabilize the housing market,"" it went on to add.

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Organizing figures by charts and graphs, the scorecard showed house price futures dipping below 15 on a 100-digit scale, as reported by S&P/Case-Shiller in fall 2011.

Meanwhile, existing-home sales hovered at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about $400,000 month-over-month, according to NAR.

Both NAR and the Census Bureau found existing homes and total vacant units dovetailing over the second quarter this year, with the numbers for both approaching 4 million for sale and off-market, respectively.

Sourcing ""Freddie Mac"":http://www.freddiemac.com/, the scorecard showed mortgage rates falling to record lows, approaching 4 percent in 2011, even as a NAR index revealed home affordability registering at 170 on the 200-point scale, an all-time high.

The scorecard also touched on refinancing activity, reporting via the ""Mortgage Bankers Association"":http://mbaa.org/default.htm that nearly 1.5 million homeowners have refinanced their mortgage loans over the course of two quarters this year.

The administration listed a number of initiatives that it credited with pulling millions of homeowners out of the clutches of foreclosure and allowing others to refinance their mortgages.

Favor and praise went to financial support to the GSEs for a line of mortgage credit, more than $1.4 trillion in purchases of the mortgage-backed securities from the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department, and a $23.5-billion initiative to further housing finance agency programs for sustainable homeownership.

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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