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DS News Webcast: Tuesday 3/11/2014

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of the Treasury released the Obama Administration's Housing Scorecard for February. The report found that new home purchases rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 468,000, a 9.6 percent increase for the month of January and the highest increase since mid-2008. The Home Affordable Mortgage Program has saved an estimated $25.5 billion in monthly mortgage payments according to the report.

The scorecard found that the Making Home Affordable program executed over 1.9 million homeowner assistance actions, while the Federal Housing Administration offered nearly 2.2 million loss mitigation and early delinquency interventions. In total, 8.1 million mortgage modifications and other mortgage assistance arrangements were completed between April, 2009 and the end of January, 2014. Homeowner equity jumped over $400 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, reaching over $10 trillion for the first time since 2007.

50 percent of consumers polled in Fannie Mae's February National Housing Survey said they expect housing market improvements, a recovery from 43 percent in January. 7 percent of consumers anticipate price declines, while those who forecast no significant movement was down to 38 percent. Renewed confidence in home prices spurred a boost in those saying now is a good time to buy a home, up 3 percentage points from January to 68 percent. However, the share of respondents saying they think it would be easy for them to get a mortgage retreated back to 45 percent.

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