Hard Sell in Obama Housing Scorecard Debut

The White House is coming out with a hard sell to put its best face on the housing market in efforts to improve market conditions and win back voters, introducing a monthly scoreboard on the nation’s housing market. From the start, the program seems to be more like it’s out of the Roosevelt Great Depression era than 2010.

For Sale Signs

Each month the scorecard will incorporate “key housing market indicators and highlight the impact of the administration’s unprecedented housing recovery efforts,” according to a White House statement. The Obama administration is putting a hard sell on its scorecard in efforts to turn the tide of negative public sentiment away from Obama’s housing rescue plan, which has clearly failed to meet its intended expectations.

The Washington, D.C. propaganda machine is amazing, and for a change the mainstream media doesn’t seem to be buying it much since the announcement of the monthly scorecard made by the Treasury Department Monday got so little press coverage. The new scorecard bundles programs that the Obama administration has implemented with other government entities, including the FHA and the “Hope Now” mortgage modification program.

As home foreclosures rise over a year ago, the number of homeowners failing in the HAMP program is rising at alarming levels. Some 152,056 trial modifications were cancelled in May, while only 47,724 mortgage borrowers at risk of foreclosure received permanent modifications under the program.

But mortgage interest rates are at near record lows aiding the market’s recovery with more than six million homeowners that have refinanced. Bank servicing companies report that 2.8-million mortgage holders have received some sort of a modification or restructured their loans since last April, a marked improvement. But homeowners at risk of foreclosure weigh heavily on the market and the overall economy.

Other key provisions of the new scorecard could also be an uphill battle for the White House. A key ingredient is a government

calculation on the “change on aggregate home equity.” Homeowners have regained $1.1-trillion in equity in the last year as prices rise in the best of markets. But that’s only in five states for now (See Housing Recovery Led by Five States).

The first report highlighted the administration’s successes more than anything else and that could be a very hard sell with voters. To quote the report, “After 30 straight months of decline and expectation of continued nearly 14% decline, home prices leveled off in the past year and expectations have adjusted upward.”

Data clearly shows home prices are continuing to decline in most areas of the country, and sales have slowed after the home buyers’ tax credit expiration, which Housing Predictor forecast would be severe. Where did these guys get this information? Oh yea, it’s the government.