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FHA, VA and HECM mortgage news. HUD and G i n n i e news also. Originations, servicing and FHA approval.



FHA Condo Business Surges

Overall FHA endorsements up 13%

Sept. 26, 2012

By MortgageDaily.com staff


Government-insured home loan production climbed last month, with refinance activity powering the increase. Condominium financing shot up and is likely to continue its ascension as a result of recent guideline changes. Overall Federal Housing Administration loan originations are on target to fall 7 percent short of fiscal projections.

Mortgage lenders sought FHA's endorsement on 126,051 loans during August, according to monthly operational data from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Business strengthened from the previous month, when 110,924 loans were endorsed.

September endorsements are likely to be about the same as last month's based on new FHA applications, which slipped to 178,314 from 181,951 in June.

In the same month last year, FHA endorsements totaled 100,490.

On a dollar basis, originations grew to $23.1 billion from July's $20.5 billion. Production has increased substantially from a year earlier, when only $17.4 billion in mortgages were endorsed.

FHA volume totaled 860,981 loans for $158.6 billion from Jan. 1 through Aug. 31.

Since FHA's fiscal year began on Oct. 1 of last year, 1,130,717 loans have been endorsed for $206.5 billion. While production is projected to reach 1.4 million loans for $248.6 billion by the time FHA's fiscal year ends on Sept. 30, full-year volume is more likely to end fiscal 2012 at around 1.26 million loans for approximately $230 billion.

It took an average of 6.3 weeks to close an FHA loan in August, longer than the six weeks it took in July and the 5.9-week turnaround a year prior.

August's weighted-average FICO score was 696, off slightly from 697 a month earlier and 698 a year earlier.

Refinance endorsements were up around a third from the prior month at 50,501 endorsements for $9.7 billion. New refinance applications, however, were down 6.4 percent from July.

FHA endorsed 71,428 purchase mortgages for $12.4 billion in August, 2 percent better than the previous month. Purchase applications inched up 2 percent between July and August.

The volume of home-equity conversion mortgages closed climbed to 4,122 loans for a maximum claim amount of $1.0 billion from 3,868 units endorsed for $0.9 billion. Upcoming HECM endorsements are poised to rise further based on an increase in loan applications to 8,105 in August from 7,374 in July.

HECM endorsements during FHA's fiscal year have totaled 51,124 loans for $12.3 billion.

Section 203(k) endorsements rose to 2,030 last month from 1,967 a month earlier but fell from 2,242 in the same month during 2011.

Condominium endorsements surged to 5,009 from 4,147 the previous month and 3,637 during the same month in the previous year. Activity is likely to accelerate further as a result of FHA's decision earlier this month to temporarily ease lending requirements on condominium financing.

Also gaining strength were FHA loans on manufactured housing, with endorsements climbing to 2,001 from 1,799 in July and 1,817 in August 2011.

FHA grew its mortgage insurance in force to 7,691,776 loans for $1.080.5 trillion as of Aug. 31 from 7,663,329 loans for $1.075.8 billion one month earlier.

FHA outstandings stood at 7,259,736 mortgages insured for $1.012.8 billion at the same point last year.

The report indicated that 728,227 FHA-insured mortgages were at least 90 days past due as of last month, a few more than the 725,645 delinquent loans as of the end of July. The number has grown significantly from August 2011, when 611,822 mortgages were in default.

FHA's delinquency rate was mostly unchanged from July at 9.47 percent. FHA performance has deteriorated from a year earlier, however, when the rate was 8.43 percent.

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