HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 05-035
Gayela Bynum
(202) 708-0685

For Release
March 24, 2005


Sales of new single-family homes rose 9.4 percent in February, compared to January and 5.2 percent compared to February 2004. The Census Bureau and HUD released data today showing an annual sales rate of 1.226 million in February, marking the fourth highest monthly sales rate in the 42-year history of the series.

"These numbers combined with last week's announcement of record single-family housing starts in February show that housing is still a leader in our rapidly recovering economy. President Bush is committed to building on these accomplishments so that people from every walk of life can have the opportunity to become homeowners," said Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson. "The President's housing initiatives are breaking down the barriers and paving the way for more Americans, particularly minorities, to achieve that dream."

Two years ago, President Bush challenged the nation to create 5.5 million new minority homeowners by the end of this decade. To date, there has been a net increase of 2.2 million minority homeowners, which represents 40 percent of the 5.5 million goal.

HUD's 2006 budget proposes a zero downpayment mortgage option in the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) that would allow first-time buyers with a strong credit record to finance 100 percent of their home purchase including closing costs. The Budget also proposes a program called Payment Incentives, which would allow borrowers with limited or weak credit histories to purchase homes by initially paying higher mortgage insurance premiums that would gradually be reduced after a period of timely payments. In 2006, these new mortgage programs will help more than 250,000 families to buy a home of their own.

To stimulate the production of affordable homes in distressed communities where such housing is scare, the Administration is again proposing a tax credit of up to 50 percent of the cost of new construction or rehabilitation. This tax credit targets low-income households earning less than 80 percent of an area's median income.

The 2006 Budget also provides $200 million to fully fund the American Dream Downpayment Initiative (ADDI). This Initiative helps first-time homebuyers with the biggest obstacles to homeownership - the downpayment and closing costs. Since President Bush signed this initiative into law, ADDI has helped more than 3,500 families to purchase their first home. More than half of these new homeowners are minorities.

HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and

Content Archived: May 04, 2010