Each month, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of the Treasury collect key housing market data and the results of the administration’s recovery and foreclosure prevention efforts. The Housing Scorecard aims to provide a comprehensive view of the current market by tracking and compiling data on recent home sales, prices, mortgage modifications, and foreclosures. According to the most recent release, early indicators show the spring housing market is outperforming last year. For example, both new and existing home sales are now significantly higher than they were a year ago, with new home sales up 26.1 percent. Home prices, after falling dramatically during the housing crash, have now recovered much of their lost value. In fact, home values are currently just 2.6 percent below their previous peak in March 2007. Also in the report, the recent mortgage insurance premium reduction has led to a large increase in the number of first time home buyers using FHA financing. Overall, the data paints an encouraging picture of the current housing market. However, it also cautions that there is still a continuing need for recovery efforts to help foster home sales, help underwater homeowners, and reduce mortgage delinquency rates. More here.