Each month, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of the Treasury release a housing scorecard which collects key data on the housing market’s health and the results of the administration’s mortgage modification and foreclosure prevention efforts. According to the most recent release, the market is on a strong trajectory with many key indicators showing significant progress. For example, new home sales in January remained at a nearly six year high and were 5.3 percent higher than a year earlier. Also, home price increases continue to moderate, indicating that home prices are stabilizing after experiencing sharp gains in the years since the housing crash. Among the other encouraging news, foreclosure starts continue to trend downward and mortgage rates remain historically low. But though there has been reason for optimism following a number of encouraging economic and housing reports near the end of last year and the beginning of this one, the report cautions that there is still work to be done in order to help more Americans realize their dream of homeownership. It also notes that existing-home sales were down in January, though some of the decline was likely due to severe winter weather in some parts of the country. More here.