The trend of national mortgage records continuously showing lowering rates which was observed during the first three months of this year has again been seen in the second quarter. As an increasing number of consumers begin the path to homeownership, many have been able to obtain residential financing at affordable levels and property sales have risen, however, constrained inventories have led to heightened housing values.
The April edition of the Obama Administration's Housing Scorecard, released by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury, showed recent programs which have set new standards for mortgage assistance have helped protect consumers and boost the ongoing recovery. Since the start of the Making Home Affordable Program, almost 1.6 million homeowners have benefited from assistive actions, including over 1.1 million permanent modifications through the Home Affordable Modification Program.
"The Obama Administration's efforts to speed the housing recovery are showing continued progress as the April scorecard indicators highlight ongoing improvements throughout the housing market," said HUD deputy assistant secretary for economic affairs Kurt Usowski. "The annual increase in home prices is the highest in nearly seven years and sales of existing and new homes are both up over 10 percent from one year ago."
Majority of Americans believe housing prices will rise
Though home values have been reaching high amounts in areas across the country, it was recently reported than a significant number of American consumers believe real estate prices will continue rising nationwide.
The April 2013 National Housing Survey released by the government-sponsored enterprise Fannie Mae saw the share of respondents who expect public property records to show increases in home values within the next year tick up 3 percentage points from March findings and settle at a reading of 51 percent. This figure is considerably higher than its year-ago level, which saw just 32 percent of citizens project price increases.
"For the first time in the survey's three-year history, the majority of Americans surveyed now expect home prices to increase," said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae.
Additional optimism reported by survey respondents
The survey's rating above the 50 percent shows that most Americans believe a housing recovery is occurring nationwide, which may have influenced them to adopt positive outlooks for other economic aspects. Fannie Mae reported the share of those surveyed who said they think now is a good time to sell improved month-over-month by 4 percentage points, moving the measure up to 30 percent, which is twice as much as the amount recorded during the same time period the year prior.