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FHA Activity Sinks

FHA News

The volume of loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration was down more than a quarter last month, though federally insured reverse mortgage action improved. A small uptick might be ahead based on new applications — which were up 23 percent for purchase transactions.

FHA endorsements plummeted to 88,269 loans for $16.8 billion in February from January’s 119,518 closings for $23.1 billion, according to monthly operational data. Endorsements during February 2010 were 131,978 loans for $24.4 billion.

On a calendar basis, year-to-date volume was $39.9 billion through Feb. 28, while fiscal-year volume was 597,831 mortgages for $116.6 billion. Between Oct. 1, 2010, and Sept. 30, 2011, FHA projects that volume will reach 1.5 million endorsements for $288.7 billion.

Last month’s endorsements included 6,904 home-equity conversion mortgages for a maximum claim amount of $1.8 billion. HECM volume was better than 6,464 loans closed for $1.7 billion a month earlier but not as good as 7,024 HECMs funded for $1.9 billion a year earlier.

February’s volume also included 1,478 Section 203(k) loans, down from 1,715 in January; 3,754 condominium loans, tumbling from 5,549 the previous month; and 1,574 manufactured housing loans, declining from 5,344 a month earlier.

New government originations could improve in March based on February’s 114,215 total applications, which increased from January’s 103,991.

FHA said the average processing time from application to closing fell to 7.6 weeks in February from the previous month’s 8.1 weeks.

As of the end of last month, 6,932,510 FHA loans were outstanding for $958.9 billion, higher than 6,882,984 loans for $947.8 billion at the end of January.

Three-month delinquency on the FHA book of business was unchanged at 8.9 percent last month. The 90-day rate was better, however, than 9.5 percent in February 2010.

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