News from the US Housing Department from Friday shows new homes sales in the US for December fell 7.3 percent. This number was down from November’s totals, which were the highest in the last couple of years. Aside the beans being counted though, it would seem some care and tenderness in drafting reports about struggling homeowners is needed at the agency.
Sales for 2012 were up to 367,000 units, or the most since 2009, according to the report. The so-called Obama Administration Scorecard from HUD reveals a market in flux. The below key component of the report
- Home prices showed 12 month gains
- President Obama’s foreclosure programs continue to help those in need
- And HAMP also continues to help many stay out of foreclosure
Still, even with these broad headlines across the front page of the report, digging deeper into the December Scorecard (PDF) it seems clear the report contains some “hollow data” too. For an instance, reporting on refinancing by owners in a graph like the one below, does not say much when compared to refinance overall. In short, the administration seems to be taking credit for system and cylical trends here.
“Housing Councillors Serving Millions of Families”, “Homeowner Savings from Reduced Mortgage Payments”, and other charts used in this latest report do little beside suggesting “Hey, we are doing stuff up here.” Or at least this is a fair assessment for some.
A final criticism here has to go to whomever wrote the texts for this report. In the most politically correct town, in the most politically correct country on Earth, HUD offers a stab at America’s “irresponsible mortgagees” here:
“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.”
Does this mean all those “irresponsible” slackers now out of their homes, or “taxing” the system for assistance and counselling did less somehow? Sorry to bring this up in a news report, but the lingo here stymied me. On the one had bureaucrats expect their constituents to swallow charts and numbers hook-line-and-sinker, and on the other make no bones about dancing on the pride of those families hit hardest by the Great Recession?
We look forward to your thoughts on this aspect.