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Refis Drag Down FHA Volume

$16.8 billion in April endorsements

May 24, 2011

By staff

Declining refinance and reverse mortgage activity has overall government lending lower -- though purchase production has perked up and appears to be headed higher. Delinquency declined on government-insured loans.

The Federal Housing Administration endorsed 93,394 mortgages for $16.8 billion during April, lower than the previous month's 99,112 endorsements for $18.3 billion, the Department of Housing and Urban Development reported.

FHA endorsements have tumbled from April 2010, when 126,316 loans were endorsed for $22.9 billion.

So far this year, FHA has insured 400,293 loans for $75 billion.

Refinance volume tumbled 22 percent from March, while purchases were 2 percent higher.

The 6,123 home-equity conversion mortgages that were endorsed for a maximum claim amount of $1.5 billion slowed from March's 7,306 HECMs for $1.8 billion. Reverse mortgage volume was 5,511 loans for $1.4 billion during April 2010.

HUD said Section 203(k) endorsements totaled 1,534 loans last month, a few less than 1,573 insured the prior month. Condominium endorsements fell to 3,954 from 4,268, and manufactured housing activity slipped to 1,777 endorsements from 1,836.

The average processing time fell to 6.1 weeks from 6.7 weeks in March and 6.6 weeks a year earlier.

It looks like business might be about the same this month, with April applications edging up to 160,186 from the previous month's 158,478. Purchase business is likely to rise given that applications climbed to 107,125 last month from 100,402.

But refinance applications retreated to 45,690 from March's 49,238. Also falling back were HECM applications, to 7,371 applications in April from 8,838 a month earlier.

During its fiscal year beginning in October 2010 and ending in September 2011, HUD projects 1.5 million FHA endorsements for $288.7 billion. Through April, fiscal volume was 790,180 loans for $151.6 billion

FHA mortgages outstanding rose to 7,035,016 loans for $975.2 billion as of April 30. Mortgage insurance in force as of March was less at 6,983,893 loans for $966.4 billion. In April 2010, the total was 6,192,885 loans for $820.0 billion.

Delinquency was lower, with the FHA 90-day rate easing to 8.2 percent from 8.3 percent in March. Delinquency was 8.8 percent in April 2008.

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