In the wake of the housing market collapse, the real estate industry experienced a number of years of instability, but according to the White House's most recent Housing Scorecard, conditions improved in March.
The scorecard from President Barack Obama and his administration found that during the month, the mortgage delinquency rate was down from March 2011, while home prices remained flat, keeping housing affordability high.
"The data this month show that we're making important progress in providing relief to homeowners under the Obama administration’s programs," said Department of Housing and Urban Development Assistant Secretary Raphael Bostic. "With fewer borrowers falling behind on their mortgages and some 425,000 families taking advantage of our enhanced Home Affordable Refinance Program - standing to save on average $2,500 per year - it’s clear that the administration’s efforts continue to provide significant positive benefits."
Mortgage records indicate that the number of seriously delinquent borrowers - those who are more than 90 days late of payments - fell to just 1.42 million in the first quarter this year. During the fourth quarter, the number stood at an estimated 1.43 million. However, the number of struggling borrowers was significantly lower on an annual basis, as there were roughly 1.6 million in the first quarter of 2011.
Meanwhile, as a greater number of current homeowners took advantage of both government refinance initiatives and affordable mortgage rates, the number of originations connected to refinancing rose to 1.3 million during the first three-month period this year. During the fourth quarter of 2011, there were an estimated 900,000 refinance filings.
Last year at this time, real estate data indicates that there were approximately 1.6 million originations tied to refinancing. While there have been fewer of these requests this year, it could be an indicator that economic and housing conditions are improving enough, that homeowners are no longer is serious need of a mortgage restructure.
"The administration's programs have helped millions of homeowners while establishing standards for better outcomes across the mortgage industry," said Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability Tim Massad. "Recent expansions of our efforts and the historic mortgage settlement will bring substantial relief to even more homeowners as our nation continues to heal from an unprecedented foreclosure crisis."
A number of experts anticipate the housing market to continue making significant strides during the course of 2012.