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FHA Purchases Soar

FHA News

New purchase production at the Federal Housing Administration was up 22 percent last month, while purchase applications jumped 48 percent. But purchase volume could fall as fast as it rose. As the FHA book of business inched closer to a trillion dollars, delinquency was down around 60 basis points.

FHA endorsements rose to 99,112 loans for $18.3 billion during March from the previous month’s 88,269 mortgages for $16.8 billion. Business was slower, however, than the 132,301 loans endorsed for $24.1 billion in March 2010.

Purchase volume shot up to 58,057 endorsements for $10.1 billion in March from February’s 46,899 loans for $8.3 billion.

Refinances retreated to 33,749 mortgages insured for $6.4 billion from 34,466 units for $6.7 billion.

The volume of home-equity conversion mortgages endorsed edged higher to 7,306 endorsements for a maximum claim amount of $1.8 billion from the previous month’s 6,904 HECMs for $1.8 billion.

Section 203(k) endorsements increased to 1,573 from February’s 1,478; condominium volume was up to 4,268 from 3,754; and manufactured housing activity climbed to 1,836 units from 1,574.

Government volume can be expected to continue strengthening based on total new applications of 158,478 versus February’s 114,215. Purchase activity shot up 48 percent, applications for refinances rose 29 percent and HECM applications were 9 percent higher.

However, last week’s Mortgage Market Index report from Mortech Inc. and Mortgage Daily indicated that weekly FHA activity was down 20 percent, while overall purchase activity was off 13 percent.

Michael Fratantoni, vice president of research and economics for the Mortgage Bankers Association, attributed a sharp drop in weekly government purchase applications to higher FHA premiums that have gone into effect.

During the first three months of 2011, endorsements added up to 306,899 loans for $58.2 billion. Since FHA began its 2011 fiscal year on Oct. 1, there have been 696,786 loans endorsed for $134.8 billion. By the time fiscal 2011 ends on Sept. 30, FHA projects that 1.5 million loans will have been insured for $288.7 billion.

FHA has seen its insurance in force climb to 6,983,893 loans for $966.4 billion from 6,932,510 insured mortgages for $956.9 billion at the end of last year.

Delinquency of at least 90 days on the insured portfolio was 8.3 percent, better than 8.9 percent a month earlier. Defaults also improved from 9.1 percent a year earlier.

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