October housing summary shows strides made in help for struggling homeowners

Federal government housing data from the month of October reveals home prices have made large leaps this year, improving a significant amount when compared to the previous year.

Federal government housing data from the month of October reveals home prices have made large leaps this year, improving a significant amount when compared to the previous year. Additionally, homeowners who have found it difficult to keep up with their monthly mortgage payments are benefiting from federally funded programs.

According to the scorecard, home prices posted the largest annual gain in October seen in the last five years, and rising prices haven't seemed to prevent homeowners from making the investment, as sales have also been growing, surpassing the pace set two years ago. This indicates a return to pre-housing market slump conditions. While higher home prices may not always be ideal when making a major purchase, mortgage rates have remained low, supported by economic factors.

Other data shows that programs, including the Home Affordable Modification Program, have continued to assist those having trouble with their mortgage.

Current programs continue to aid underwater homeowners
Figures from the October Scorecard shows nearly 1.3 million homeowner assistant actions have been completed through Making Home Affordable Program, while other federal agencies have provided interventions on homes that have become underwater. Additionally, HAMP has helped the average person enrolled in the service to save around $541 on their monthly mortgage payments.

While these have significantly helped current homeowners in many ways, the White House is pushing for a new program to aid those in need of refinancing. Strict lending standards characteristic of the current mortgage market have prevented even well-qualified homeowners from refinancing their initial mortgage.

"As the October housing scorecard indicates, our housing market is continuing to show important signs of recovery - with the FHFA housing price index posting it's largest annual gain in five years and new home sales at it's fastest pace since April 2010," said Erika Poethig, HUD acting assistant secretary for policy development and research. "But with so many households still struggling to make ends meet, we have important work ahead. That is why we are asking the Congress to approve the president's refinancing proposal so that more homeowners can receive assistance."



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