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FHA Business Strengthens

132,301 loans endorsed in March for $24.1 billion

April 23, 2010

By MortgageDaily.com staff


Government mortgage volume held steady in March but is likely headed higher because of a surge in new purchase applications. Reverse mortgage volume slid and was down by nearly half from a year earlier.

Last month, the Federal Housing Administration endorsed 132,301 loans for $24.1 billion, according to data released Thursday. February endorsements were 131,978 loans for $24.4 billion, while 151,140 loans were endorsed for $28 billion a year earlier.

Endorsements for purchase transactions rose to 82,879 from 73,098, while refinance volume fell to 43,600 from 51,916.

FHA applications in March climbed to 246,406 from February's 165,239. The uptick was fueled by purchase applications, which increased to 163,467 from 97,171. Refinance applications rose to 75,541 from 61,425.

FHA endorsed 5,822 home-equity conversion mortgages last month, tumbling from 7,024 the previous month and 11,261 in March 2009. But new HECM applications were up to 7,398 from 6,643.

Section 203(k) endorsements climbed to 2,130 from February's 1,804, and condominium volume eased to 7,214 from 7,541. Manufactured housing volume was 2,622, down from 2,937.

The report indicated that 935,339 loans for $171.1 billion have been endorsed since FHA's fiscal year began on Oct. 1, 2009. On a calendar basis, year-to-date endorsements were 422,891 loans for $77.3 billion.

The weighted-average FICO score for all of March's activity was 697, higher than 693 the prior month and 673 the prior year. The average processing time improved to 6.9 weeks from 7.7 weeks.

FHA loans outstanding climbed to 6,114,452 units for $805.6 billion as of March 31. Outstandings stood at 6,014,729 loans for $786.5 billion on Feb. 28 and just 4,904,167 mortgages for $577.2 billion a year prior.

Delinquency of at least 90 days improved to 8.8 percent at the end of last month from 9.2 percent at the end of February but was still higher than 7.1 percent 12 months earlier.

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