March 1st, 2015 10:30 AM by Todd Perdew
FHA premium cut could benefit 2.4 million homeowners
One in three Federal Housing Administration borrowers would benefit from refinancing.
That’s the conclusion of a study conducted by the Housing Finance Policy Center at the Urban Institute.
The Center’s Laurie Goodman, Karan Kaul and Jun Zhu took a closer look at the impact of the premium cut on FHA refinance volumes and have concluded that roughly 2.4 million current FHA borrowers could benefit from refinancing.
They started with 6.6 million existing FHA loans and excluded the following three categories of loans:
After excluding pre-June 2009 originated, delinquent, modified and mortgages with a maximum term of 15 years, (total 2.2 million), they estimated that roughly 4.4 million FHA borrowers could be candidates for refinancing.
In general, they found, borrowers stand to save money by refinancing if the new mortgage rate and the new FHA premiums, combined, result in a 0.75% reduction or more in annual mortgage costs.
“We used this as the base for our final estimate, assuming that the majority of borrowers would adopt this threshold,” they write. “Some borrowers are more conservative, of course, and might wait until their annual mortgage cost savings hits 1% to refinance, resulting in less refinance activity. Other borrowers are aggressive and might jump in when they stand to gain only 0.5%, which would result in more refinance activity. We’ve estimated these higher and lower triggers as well to give a clearer sense of the full range of potential refinance activity.
“Under our 0.75% threshold which we expect the majority of borrowers to adhere to, we estimate that roughly 2.4 million FHA borrowers could lower their mortgage payments even after accounting for refinancing costs. This represents over a third of the 6.6 million FHA borrowers,” they write.
Using a more conservative threshold of 1%, roughly 1.7 million borrowers could save money by refinancing.
At the more aggressive 0.5% threshold, their estimate rises to over 3 million.
“Our estimates are also based on the current FHA mortgage rate. A continued decline in rates could make refinancing appealing to a greater number of borrowers and would raise our estimates, whereas an increase in rates would lower them,” they write. “Other unknowns such as borrowers’ expectations of future mortgage rates can also affect refinance activity. If a large number of borrowers decide to wait in anticipation of even lower rates in the future, that would further reduce refinance volumes. Given what we know today, however, one in three FHA borrowers could certainly lower their monthly payments by refinancing.”
LOW DOWN PAYMENT MORTGAGE OPTIONS RETURN
By: Brena Swanson Source: www.housingwire.com/articles/32959
New programs are starting to allow first-time homeowners back into the housing market, except this time, new regulation will help prevent the same type of lending that spurred the financial crisis. Per CNNMoney:
“It’s one of the things that’s inhibiting first-time homebuyers,” said Rob Chrane, president of Down Payment Resource. “There are a lot more people who can qualify for a home loan that don’t realize that they can.”
Two big factors that are playing in to the recent ease is the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s new down payment programs and the Federal Housing Administration’s reduction in mortgage insurance premiums.
In October, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced 97% loan-to-value offerings.
At the beginning of the year, the Obama Administration directed, via executive action, the FHA to reduce annual mortgage insurance premiums by 50 basis points, from 1.35% to 0.85%.
FHA monthly mortgage insurance premiums dropped dramatically at the beginning of 2015. The change, from 1.35% to only 0.85%, will make FHA loans a better choice for some borrowers after years of prohibitively high premiums, said Anthony Hsieh, chief executive officer of loanDepot, one of the largest FHA lenders in the country.
“We’re starting to get back to what’s reasonable,” said Hsieh. “The crisis has shaken the market so much that there is no doubt there was an overreaction.”
However the article did caution that while a shift toward loans with lower down payments has drawn criticism from some politicians, the new rules for qualified mortgage loans and more diligent underwriting by lenders will protect the lending market.