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The Obama Administration’s Efforts
To Stabilize the Housing Market
and Help American Homeowners
December 2015

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development | Office of Policy Development and Research

U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development

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The Administration’s goal remains to stabilize the housing market and provide
security for homeowners. To meet these objectives in a challenging market, the
Administration developed a broad approach implementing state and local housing
agency initiatives, tax credits for homebuyers, neighborhood stabilization and
community development programs, mortgage modifications and refinancing,
housing counseling, continued Federal Housing Administration (FHA) engagement,
support for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and increased consumer protections.
In addition, Federal Reserve and Treasury Mortgage-Backed Securities purchase
programs have helped to keep mortgage interest rates at record lows. More detail
on the Administration’s efforts can be found in the Appendix.
•	

Homeowners’ Equity rose again in the third quarter of 2015.
Homeowners’ equity (total property value less mortgage debt outstanding)
was up $361 billion (3.0 percent) from the second quarter of 2015, for a
total of nearly $12.4 trillion—the highest level since the fourth quarter of
2006. Homeowners’ equity peaked in the first quarter of 2006 at nearly
$13.3 trillion. The increase in owners’ equity was $260 billion in the second
quarter. The change in equity since April 1, 2009, when the Administration
initiated its broad set of actions to stabilize the housing market, now stands at
more than $6.1 trillion (+98.6 percent). (Source: Federal Reserve.)

•	

The number of homeowners in negative equity continued to
decline in the third quarter. As of the third quarter of 2015, CoreLogic
estimated that 4.1 million homes, or 8.1 percent of residential properties
with a mortgage, were in negative equity. This compares to 4.3 million, or
8.7 percent, that were reported in negative equity in the second quarter
and 5.2 million, or 10.4 percent, one year ago. From the beginning
of 2012 through the third quarter of 2015, the number of underwater
borrowers (those who owe more on their mortgage than the value of their
home) has declined by 66 percent—from 12.1 million to 4.1 million—or by
8.0 million homeowners. (Source: CoreLogic.)

•	

The October 2015 FHFA house price index rose above its
previous peak, set in March 2007 during the housing bubble.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) seasonally adjusted purchaseonly house price index for October showed home values rose 0.5 percent
over the previous month and 5.6 percent over the previous year. The yearover-year house price gain has been 5.6 percent for the past four months.
The FHFA index shows that U.S. home values now stand 0.3 percent above
their previous peak in March 2007 and 27 percent above their previous
low in March 2011.

•	

Sales of previously owned (existing) homes slumped in
November to the slowest pace since April 2014, as a change
in industry rules lengthened the time it took buyers to close
a contract. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) reported that
sales of existing homes (including single-family homes, townhomes,
condominiums, and cooperatives) fell 10.5 percent in November to 4.76
million (SAAR) from an October sales pace that was revised downward
to 5.32 million units. NAR believes the drop in sales can be partially
explained by the new CFPB’s (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s)
‘Know Before You Owe’ rule, which has increased the timeframe for
completing sales transaction as the industry adjusts to the new rule. The
length of time it took buyers to close on a home purchase was 41 days in
November, up from 36 days a year earlier. Existing home sales have been
above the 5 million mark for 8 out of 11 months this year. November sales
were 3.8 percent below a year ago—the first year-over-year decline since
September 2014.

•	

The Administration’s foreclosure mitigation programs
continue to provide relief for millions of homeowners as
the recovery from the housing crisis continues. In all, more
than 10.1 million mortgage modifications and other forms of mortgage
assistance arrangements were completed between April 2009 and the
end of November 2015. More than 2.5 million homeowner assistance
actions have taken place through the Making Home Affordable Program,
including nearly 1.6 million permanent modifications through the Home
Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), while the Federal Housing
Administration (FHA) has offered more than 3.0 million loss mitigation and
early delinquency interventions through November. These Administration
programs continue to encourage improved standards and processes in
the industry, with lenders offering families and individuals more than 4.6
million proprietary modifications through October (data are reported with a
2-month lag). You can read the Treasury’s MHA report here.

Encouraging news notwithstanding, there is a need to continue with recovery
efforts to foster home sales, help those homeowners that remain underwater,
and reduce mortgage delinquency rates that remain elevated. There is also
considerable geographic variation in market conditions not captured in the
national statistics, which suggests some markets are improving at different rates
than others.

December 2015 National Scorecard | Page 1

U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development

The Obama Administration’s Efforts To Stabilize the Housing Market and Help American Homeowners | December 2015

December 2015 National Scorecard | Page 2

U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development

The Obama Administration’s Efforts To Stabilize the Housing Market and Help American Homeowners | December 2015

December 2015 National Scorecard | Page 3

U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development

The Obama Administration’s Efforts To Stabilize the Housing Market and Help American Homeowners | December 2015

December 2015 National Scorecard | Page 4

U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development | Office of Policy Development and Research
The Obama Administration’s Efforts To Stabilize the Housing Market and Help American Homeowners | December 2015

Indicator

HOUSING ASSISTANCE AND STABILIZATION PERFORMANCE METRICS
This Period
Last Period
Cumulative From April 1, 2009
Latest Release

Distressed Homeowners Assisted (thousands)
HAMP Trial Modifications
HAMP Permanent Modifications
FHA Loss Mitigation Interventions
HOPE Now Modifications
HARP Refinances
FHA Streamline Refinances
Counseled Borrowers (thousands)

Activities Completed Under NSP (housing units)	
New Construction or Residential Rehab
Demolition or Clearance
Direct Homeownership Assistance
Change in Aggregate Home Equity ($ billions)

Indicator

Mortgage Rates (30-Yr FRM, percent)

8.5 (s)
7.7 (s)
39.2
22.1
7.8
15.6

9.1
7.8
45.2
22.1
9.1
19.6

2,387
1,558
3,032
4,608
3,367
1,787

280.7

319.6

12,236

----

----

43,606 [65,623]
24,049 [24,310]
11,132[16,526]

360.9

259.5

Last Period

3.97

Year Ago

4.01

2nd Q 15
(b,s)
(b,s)
(b,s)

6,140.4

(r)

HOUSING MARKET FACT SHEET
This Period

November-15
November-15
November-15
October-15
October-15
November-15

3rd Q 15

As of Dec 2008

3.73

3rd Q 15
3rd Q 15
3rd Q 15

5.10

Latest Release
7-Jan16

168.6

162.9

October-15

173.2
214.5
173.8

150.5
195.5
159.9

October-15
October-15
October-15

31.4
334.2
149.9
32

November-15
November-15
November-15
October-15

Housing Affordability (index)

166.3

163.7

(r)

Home Prices (indices)
Case-Shiller (NSA)
FHFA (SA)
CoreLogic–Excluding Distressed Sales (NSA)

182.8
227.5
184.9

182.7
226.4
183.1

(r)

Home Sales (thousands, SA)
New
Existing
First-Time Buyers
Distressed Sales (percent, NSA)

40.8
396.7
140.0
11

39.2
443.3
154.4
11

(r)
(r)
(r,s)

37.4
412.5
148.5
13

Housing Supply
Existing Homes for Sale (thousands, NSA)
Existing Homes–Months’ Supply (months)
New Homes for Sale (thousands, SA)
New Homes for Sale–Months’ Supply (months, SA)
Vacant Units Held Off Market (thousands)

2,040
5.1
232
5.7
3,788

2,110
4.8
227
5.8
3,822

(r)

2,080
5.0
210
5.6
3,922

3,130
9.4
353
11.2
3,542

November-15
November-15
November-15
November-15
3rd Q 15

583.6
1,007.0

708.7
940.2

530.0
821.9

767.1
986.3

3rd Q 15
3rd Q 15

14.3
43.8
35.7

62.9
72.7
56.2

November-15
November-15
November-15

3.4
31.6
10.8

4.4
34.3
14.3

November-15
November-15
November-15

665
927
545

915
1,632
333

November-15
November-15
November-15

Mortgage Originations (thousands)
Refinance Originations
Purchase Originations

(s)
(p)

(r)
(r)

(r)
(r)

(s)

FHA Originations (thousands)
Refinance Originations
Purchase Originations
Purchases by First-Time Buyers

22.6
54.3
43.7

Mortgage Delinquency Rates (percent)
Prime
Subprime
FHA

2.8
27.4
9.5

2.7
26.7
9.3

479
626
453

490
622
450

4,094

4,349

5,165

--

41.2
40.3
12.0
25.4

48.6
36.6
14.3
29.8

55.9
25.2
17.3
39.5

148.6
78.9
14.0
74.8

Seriously Delinquent Mortgages (thousands)
Prime
Subprime
FHA
Underwater Borrowers (thousands)
Foreclosure Actions (thousands)
Foreclosure Starts
Foreclosure Completions
Short Sales
REO Sales

(p)
(p)
(p)

(p)
(p)

27.9
71.9
51.9

(r)
(r)
(r)

(r)

(r)
(r)

3rd Q 15
November-15
November-15
October-15
October-15

SA = seasonally adjusted, NSA = not SA, p = preliminary, r = revised, b = brackets include units in process, s = see Additional Notes in Sources and Methodology.

December 2015 National Scorecard | Page 5

U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development | Office of Policy Development and Research
The Obama Administration’s Efforts To Stabilize the Housing Market and Help American Homeowners | December 2015

A. Items in Tables

SOURCES AND METHODOLOGY

Description

Frequency

Sources

Notes on Methodology

Distressed Homeowners Assisted
HAMP Trial Modifications
HAMP Permanent Modifications
FHA Loss Mitigation Interventions
HOPE Now Modifications
HARP Refinances
FHA Streamline Refinances

Monthly
Monthly
Monthly
Monthly
Monthly
Monthly

Treasury
Treasury
HUD
Hope Now Alliance
Federal Housing Finance Agency
Federal Housing Administration

As reported. Also see additional note in Section C below on HAMP Tier 2.
As reported. Also see additional note in Section C below on HAMP Tier 2.
All FHA loss mitigation and early delinquency interventions.
All proprietary modifications completed.
As reported. Also see note 7 in Section B below, Notes on Charts.
As reported. Also see note 7 in Section B below, Notes on Charts.

Counseled Borrowers (thousands)

Quarterly

HUD

Housing counseling activity reported by all HUD-approved housing counselors.

Completed Activities Under NSP
(housing units)
New Construction or Residential Rehab

Quarterly

HUD

Quarterly

HUD

Quarterly

HUD

Housing units constructed/rehabilitated using Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Bracketed
numbers include units in process.
Housing units demolished/cleared using Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Bracketed
numbers as above.
Completed downpayment assistance or non-amortizing second mortgages by grantee to make
purchase of NSP unit affordable. Bracketed numbers as above.

Change in Aggregate Home Equity

Quarterly

Federal Reserve Board

Mortgage Rates (30-Yr FRM)

Weekly

Freddie Mac

Primary Mortgage Market Survey, as reported for 30-Year fixed rate mortgages (FRM).

Housing Affordability

Monthly

National Association of Realtors®

NAR’s composite housing affordability index as reported. A value of 100 means that a family
with the median income has exactly enough income to qualify for a mortgage on a median-priced
home. An index above 100 signifies that a family earning the median income has more than
enough income to qualify.

Home Prices
Case-Shiller (NSA)

Monthly

Standard and Poor’s

Monthly
Monthly

Federal Housing Finance Agency
CoreLogic

Case-Shiller 20-metro composite index, January 2000 = 100. Standard and Poor’s recommends
use of not seasonally adjusted index when making monthly comparisons. FHFA monthly (purchaseonly) index for US, January 1991 = 100. CoreLogic national combined index, distressed sales
excluded, January 2000 = 100.
(Only available as NSA).

Monthly

HUD and Census Bureau

Existing

Monthly

National Association of Realtors®

First Time Buyers

Monthly

NAR, Census Bureau, and HUD

Distressed Sales (NSA)

Monthly

CoreLogic

Housing Supply
Existing Homes for Sale (NSA)
Existing Homes - Months’ Supply
New Homes for Sale (SA)
New Homes for Sale - Months’ Supply (SA)
Vacant Units Held Off Market

Monthly
Monthly
Monthly
Monthly
Quarterly

National Association of Realtors
National Association of Realtors
HUD and Census Bureau
HUD and Census Bureau
Census Bureau

As reported.
As reported.
As reported.
As reported.
As reported in Census CPS/HPS Table 4. Estimates of Housing Inventory, line item “Year-round vacant, held off market for reasons other than occasional use or usually reside elsewhere.” Vacant
units can be held off the market for a variety of reasons.

Mortgage Originations
Refinance Originations

Quarterly

Purchase Originations

Quarterly

Mortgage Bankers Association
and HUD
Mortgage Bankers Association
and HUD

HUD estimate of refinance originations based on MBA estimate of dollar volume of refinance
originations.
HUD estimate of home purchase originations based on MBA estimate of dollar volume of home
purchase originations.

Demolition or Clearance
Direct Homeownership Assistance

FHFA (SA)
CoreLogic - Excluding Distressed Sales
(NSA)
Home Sales (SA)
New

Difference in aggregate household owners’ equity in real estate as reported in the Federal Reserve
Board’s Flow of Funds Accounts of the United States for stated time period.

Seasonally adjusted annual rates divided by 12. A newly constructed house is considered sold
when either a sales contract has been signed or a deposit accepted, even if this occurs before
construction has actually started.
Seasonally adjusted annual rates divided by 12. Existing-home sales, which include single-family,
townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, are based on transaction closings. This differs from the
U.S. Census Bureau’s series on new single-family home sales, which are based on contracts or the
acceptance of a deposit.
Sum of seasonally adjusted new and existing home sales (above) multiplied by National
Association of Realtors® annual estimate of first time buyer share of existing home sales.
Short sales and REO (Real Estate Owned) sales as a percent of total existing home sales (current
month subject to revision).

FHA Originations
Refinance Originations
Purchase Originations
Purchases by First Time Buyers

Monthly
Monthly
Monthly

HUD
HUD
HUD

FHA originations reported as of date of loan closing. Estimate for current month scaled upward due
to normal reporting lag and shown as preliminary.

Mortgage Delinquency Rates (NSA)
Prime
Subprime
FHA

Monthly
Monthly
Monthly

LPS Applied Analytics
LPS Applied Analytics
HUD

Total mortgages past due (30+ days) but not in foreclosure, divided by mortgages actively serviced.
Total mortgages past due (30+ days) but not in foreclosure, divided by mortgages actively serviced.
Total FHA mortgages past due (30+ days) but not in foreclosure, divided by FHA’s insurance in force.

Seriously Delinquent Mortgages
Prime
Subprime
FHA

Monthly
Monthly
Monthly

LPS Applied Analytics, MBA, and HUD Mortgages 90+ days delinquent or in foreclosure, scaled up to market.
LPS Applied Analytics, MBA, and HUD Mortgages 90+ days delinquent or in foreclosure, scaled up to market.
Mortgages 90+ days delinquent or in foreclosure.
HUD

Underwater Borrowers

Quarterly

CoreLogic

As reported.

Foreclosure Actions
Foreclosure Starts

Monthly

Realty Trac

Monthly
Monthly
Monthly

Realty Trac
CoreLogic
CoreLogic

Foreclosure starts are reported counts of notice of default or scheduled foreclosure auction,
depending on which action starts the foreclosure process in a state.
Real Estate Owned (REO).
Count of Short Sales for the month as reported (current month subject to revision).
Count of REO (Real Estate Owned) Sales for the month as reported
(current month subject to revision).

Foreclosure Completions
Short sales
REO Sales

December 2015 National Scorecard | Page 6

U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development | Office of Policy Development and Research
The Obama Administration’s Efforts To Stabilize the Housing Market and Help American Homeowners | December 2015

SOURCES AND METHODOLOGY
B. Notes on Charts.
1. Monthly house price trends shown as changes in respective house price indices applied to a common base price set equal to the median price of an existing
home sold in January 2003 as reported by the National Association of Realtors. Indices shown: S&P/Case Shiller 20-metro composite index (NSA), January
2000 = 100, FHFA monthly (purchase-only) index for US (SA), January 1991 = 100, and CoreLogic-Distressed Sales Excluded (Monthly) for US (NSA),
January 2000 =100.
2. S&P/Case-Shiller 10-metro composite index (NSA) as reported monthly. Implied Case-Shiller futures index figures report forward expectations for the level
of the S&P/Case Shiller index as of the date indicated, estimated from prices of futures purchased on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange reported by CME
Group. The January 2009 market trend projection reports forward expectations estimated from prices of futures contracts reported by Radar Logic. Also see
additional note in Section C below.
3. Reported seasonally adjusted annual rates for new and existing home sales divided by 12.
4. HUD estimate of refinance originations based on MBA estimate of dollar volume of refinance originations.
5. Cumulative HAMP permanent modifications started, FHA loss mitigation and early delinquency interventions, plus proprietary modifications completed as
reported by HOPE Now Alliance. Some homeowners may be counted in more than one category. Foreclosure completions are properties entering Real
Estate Owned (REO) as reported by Realty Trac. Also see additional note in Section C below on HAMP Tier 2.
6. Beginning with the September 2012 release, filings of a notice of default or scheduled foreclosure auction, depending on which action starts the foreclosure process
in a state, are reported for foreclosure starts. Foreclosure defaults previously had been reported as a proxy for foreclosure starts. Foreclosure completions are
properties entering REO. Both as reported by Realty Trac.
7. Streamlined refinances are designed to lower the monthly principal and interest payments on a mortgage. The refinances are referred to as “streamlined”
because they involve less paperwork, reducing the time it takes to process the loan. The agency permitting the streamline refinance already bears the credit
risk on the original loan and does not require full underwriting (enabling homeowners whose current loans may be underwater to qualify). For information on
FHA streamline refinances, see: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=4155-1_6_secC.pdf . For information on HARP refinances, see:
http://www.harp.gov/about .
8. FHA market shares as FHA purchase and refinance originations divided by HUD estimates of purchase and refinance mortgage originations as noted in
“Mortgage Originations” above. See additional note below on FHA market share.

C. Additional Notes.
Beginning with the February 2013 release, the House Price Expectations Chart was updated by replacing market expectations as they existed in January
2009 with expectations as of December 2011. Prices of futures purchased for the S&P/Case-Shiller 10-metro composite index, available on the web
from CME Group, were used to estimate expectations for December 2011 and for the current month. Market trend as of January 2009 is estimated from
percentage changes in house price futures based on a different house price index: RadarLogic RPX. This trend has been added back to the chart because it
imparts important information on how house price expectations have changed over time.
Beginning with the January 2013 release, mortgage aid under HAMP Tier 2 is included in the totals. Effective June 2012, HAMP Tier 2 expanded eligibility
requirements to further reduce foreclosures and help stabilize neighborhoods. For non-GSE loans, eligibility was expanded to allow for more flexible debt-toincome criteria and to include properties currently occupied by a tenant, as well as vacant properties which a borrower intends to rent.
FHA market share estimates are based on new methodology beginning with the October 2013 report; estimates were revised back through Q1 2013. See
the FHA Market Share report on their website for an explanation of the new methodology: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/
housing/rmra/oe/rpts/fhamktsh/fhamktqtrly .
The Q3 2015 NSP actual count was revised for demolition and clearance and both the actual and projection counts were revised for direct homeownership
assistance.
The estimate for first-time buyers was revised downward from 38 percent to 33 percent beginning with the November 2014 release based on the NAR
Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers 2014.

December 2015 National Scorecard | Page 7

U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development | Office of Policy Development and Research
The Obama Administration’s Efforts To Stabilize the Housing Market and Help American Homeowners | December 2015

Appendix
The Administration has taken a broad set of actions to stabilize the housing market and help
American homeowners. Three years ago, stress in the financial system had severely reduced
the supply of mortgage credit, limiting the ability of Americans to buy homes or refinance
mortgages. Millions of responsible families who had made their monthly payments and had
fulfilled their obligations saw their property values fall. They also found themselves unable to
refinance at lower mortgage rates.
In February 2009, less than one month after taking office, President Obama announced the
Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan. As part of this plan and through other housing
initiatives, the Administration has taken the following actions to strengthen the housing market:
•	 Supported Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to ensure continued access to affordable
mortgage credit;
•	 The Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury purchased more than $1.4 trillion in agency
mortgage backed securities through independent MBS purchase programs, helping to
keep mortgage rates at historic lows;
•	 Launched a modification initiative to help homeowners reduce mortgage payments to
affordable levels and to prevent avoidable foreclosures;
•	 Launched a $23.5 billion Housing Finance Agencies Initiative to increase sustainable
homeownership and rental resources;
•	 Supported the First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit, which helped more than 2.5 million
American families purchase homes;
•	 Provided more than $5 billion in support for affordable rental housing through low
income housing tax credit programs and $6.92 billion in support for the Neighborhood
Stabilization Program to restore neighborhoods hardest hit by the concentrated
foreclosures;
•	 Created the $7.6 billion HFA Hardest Hit Fund for innovative foreclosure prevention
programs in the nation’s hardest hit housing markets;
•	 Launched the $1 billion Emergency Homeowners Loan Program, as part of the DoddFrank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, to help unemployed and
underemployed homeowners pay a portion of their monthly mortgage.
•	 Created an FHA Short Refinance Option that helps underwater borrowers refinance into
a new, stable, FHA-insured mortgage that is more aligned with actual property values.
•	 Supported home purchase and refinance activity through the FHA to provide access to
affordable mortgage capital and help homeowners prevent foreclosures.
•	 Implemented a series of changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) in
an effort to attract more eligible borrowers who can benefit from refinancing their home
mortgages during this time of historically low mortgage rates.
###

December 2015 National Scorecard | Page 8


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