Mortgage news from around the web—8.7.12by Tim Manni
It’s no surprise that FHA loan originations soared in the years following the housing crash. As the FHA’s portfolio grew, so did their number of delinquent loans. As a result, the FHA has increased mortgage insurance premiums four times in four years to help bring their reserve fund back up to the mandated level of two percent.
Perhaps the FHA should continue to raise premiums…
As FHA premiums rise, so do FHA applications, wrote Dan Green, a loan office in Cincinnati. “124,000 FHA mortgage applications were made in May 2012, a near 5 percent increase from the year prior. Of these applications, one-fifth were for the FHA Streamline Refinance program, a 225% increase as compared to the year prior.”
Which states are the most underwater?
Sadly, I bet you can name the top five. Despite a national decline of nearly one million underwater homeowners in the first quarter, the same states, while showing their own signs of improvement, are still at the top of the list, several years running.
“Nevada had the highest negative equity percentage with 61 percent of all mortgaged properties underwater, followed by Florida (45 percent), Arizona (43 percent), Georgia (37 percent) and Michigan (35 percent),” according to CoreLogic’s negative equity report. “These top five states combined have an average negative equity share of 44.5 percent, while the remaining states have a combined average negative equity share of 15.9 percent.”
What grade would you give housing?
The Obama Administration is full steam ahead with their housing programs, even as their existing term is coming to a close. The administration is eager to point out the “momentum” these programs are gathering and the successes which have already taken place.
“This month’s indicators show momentum not seen since before the housing crisis as refinances through our enhanced Home Affordable Refinance Program continue to surge — HARP loans represented 20 percent of total refinance volume in May, the largest increase since the program was launched in 2009,” said HUD Acting Assistant Secretary Erika Poethig in a press release. “But with so many households still struggling to make ends meet, it’s clear that we have more work ahead. That is why we are asking the Congress to approve the President’s refinancing proposal so that more homeowners can receive assistance.”
“HAMP continues to offer the deepest and most sustainable assistance available to prevent foreclosure. Homeowners in the program have a high likelihood of successfully overcoming their financial hardship and maintaining their mortgage payments for the long term,” said Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability Tim Massad in a press release. “We remain committed to utilizing the tools we have available to help our country heal faster from an unprecedented crisis.”
I have a feeling you might be a little less cheery about HARP and HAMP.