Housing: Ownership: Average Housing Price

The median and average sales prices of new homes sold in the United States
The median and average sales prices of new homes sold in the United States  

Related "Issue of the Day" Entries

Foreclosure Fix for Underwater Mortgages
Published Friday, March 6th, 2009

In the news, President Obama’s housing foreclosure fix has opened for business on Wednesday. The program aims to help up to 9 million borrowers stay in their homes by refinancing their mortgages or adjust loans to lower monthly payments. This news comes just as a new report suggest that one in five US homeowners or 8.31 million properties with mortgages owe more to their lenders than their homes are worth.

To participate in the loan modification plan, borrowers must: have obtained their mortgage before Jan. 1, 2009; have a primary mortgage of less than $729,500; live in the property; fully document their income by providing tax returns and pay stubs; sign a statement of financial hardship; and go for counseling if their total household debt – including auto loans, credit cards and alimony – totals more than 55% of their income. The program will be in effect until the end of 2012, and the loans can only be adjusted once. The adjustment will reduce interest rates for 5 years so that borrowers’ total house payments do not exceed 38% of the homeowner’s monthly income.  The government will then subsidize servicers dollar-for-dollar to reduce the ratio to 31% or to the point of 2% interest. There are incentives for both the lenders when they readjust the loans and the homeowners if they keep up the payments.

The value of residential properties fell to $19.1 trillion at year-end from $21.5 trillion a year earlier, with half of this decline in California. The study, by First American Corelogic, stated that another 2.16 million properties could go underwater if home prices fall another 5%.

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National Association of Realtors - http://www.realtor.org/research.nsf/pages/EcoIndicator?OpenDocument
In addition to NAR's own existing-home sales series, NAR Research monitors other indicators such as new-home sales, housing starts, producer prices, mortgage rates and more.

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