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FHA Delinquency Down, Purchase Apps Up

131,978 FHA loans endorsed during February

March 12, 2010

By staff

Endorsements by the Federal Housing Administration fell for the second month in a row. But a recent surge in purchase applications means business will be better this month. FHA delinquency, meanwhile, fell.

During February, 131,978 FHA loans for $24.4 billion were endorsed, the agency reported today. Activity fell from 158,612 loans for $29.1 billion the prior month and was off for the second consecutive month. The latest volume was also down from February 2009, when FHA endorsed 135,718 loans for $25.5 billion..

Purchase transactions accounted for 73,038 of last month's endorsements, tumbling from 90,030 in January. Refinances declined to 51,916 from 60,954.

Home-equity conversion mortgage endorsements fell to 7,024 from 7,628, while the volume based on maximum claim amount fell from $2.1 billion to $1.9 billion.

Section 203(k) activity fell to 1,804 endorsements from 1,917, and condominium endorsements dropped to 7,541 from 9,185.

The weighted-average FICO score of all February endorsements was 693, 1 point lower than the previous month. But FICOs are up 30 points from a year ago.

New FHA business is headed higher.

Applications rose to 165,239 from January's 126,043. The increase in applications was fueled by an increase purchase applications, which jumped to 97,171 in February from 70,693 a month earlier.

From the beginning of its fiscal year on Oct. 1, 2009, through the end of last month, FHA endorsements totaled 803,126, up from 716,609 during the same period in the prior fiscal year. By the end of fiscal 2010 on Sept. 30, FHA expects it will have endorsed 1,875,000 loans.

As of the end of February, 6,014,729 loans for $786.5 billion were actively insured by FHA, higher than 5,917,805 loans for $768.7 billion on Jan. 31.

FHA delinquency of at least 90 days fell to 9.2 percent from 9.4 percent. The housing agency began publishing monthly delinquency around September 2009, and this was the first time since then that delinquency declined.

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