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FHA Performance Improves

FHA News

Refinance endorsements drove monthly government mortgage lending higher, but purchase production appears poised to take the spotlight. The elevated origination activity didn’t spill over, however, into the reverse mortgage sector. Serious delinquency has improved for each of the past two months.

Mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration in March totaled 100,939 loans for $18.8 billion.

Volume grew from 90,561 mortgages endorsed for $16.5 billion during February. Business was also better than 99,112 FHA endorsements for $18.3 billion in March 2011.

Endorsements likely increased even further during April based on the 205,778 new applications received in March. Just 155,248 applications were submitted in February.

Refinance endorsements were the biggest driver of the overall increase in originations, climbing 27 percent for the month. Refinance business should remain elevated with new applications up 10 percent during March.

FHA purchase financing increased 8 percent over the previous month. But purchase applications skyrocketed 57 percent higher from February.

Home-equity conversion mortgage originations tumbled 15 percent from February to 4,381 HECMs endorsed in March for a maximum claim amount of $1.1 billion. New applications for HECMs, however, inched up 4 percent.

Section 203(k) endorsements fell to 1,704 from February’s 1,803. Condominium activity came in at 3,630, more than the 3,280 loans insured a month prior. FHA endorsed 1,636 manufactured housing loans, a few less than the previous month’s 1,678.

FHA mortgagees cut the average processing time from application to closing to 5.7 weeks from 6.0 weeks a month earlier. It took an average 6.7 weeks during the same month last year.

From Jan. 1 through March 31, FHA endorsed a total of 293,511 loans for $53.6 billion.

Since starting its fiscal year on Oct. 1, 2011, FHA endorsed 563,379 mortgages for $101.7 billion. By the end of fiscal-year 2012, the housing agency predicts that originations will reach 1.4 million loans for $248.6 billion.

HECM originations so far during calendar-year 2012 totaled 14,982 endorsements for a maximum claim amount of $3.6 billion. On a fiscal-year basis, 28,920 HECMs have been endorsed for $7.0 billion.

FHA’s book of business continued expanding, climbing to 7,590,450 loans with an aggregate unpaid principal balance of $1.0639 trillion.

The total was 7,494,104 loans for $1.0479 trillion at the end of February and 6,983,893 insured mortgages for $966.4 billion as of March 31, 2011.

Delinquency of at least 90 days was 9.4 percent, falling from 9.7 percent in February. It was the second consecutive month that delinquency has improved.

But the serious delinquency rate still sits above the 8.3 percent level at the same point last year.

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