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FHA To Lower Fees Opening The Door To Around 100,000 Home Buyers

Yesterday, President Obama announced that he will, by executive order, direct FHA to lower the mortgage insurance premium charged on FHA loans to home buyer from 1.35 percent to .85 percent, lowering home buyer’s house payments by about $900 per year on average.  Chris Polychron, the President of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) showed his organizations support of the President’s action and highlighted the positive impact NAR felt it would have on the housing market stating “we (NAR) are optimistic that more affordable FHA loans will have a positive impact on first-time buyers who have been entering the market at a lower than normal rate.”  NAR has stated that the lower cost of an FHA loan would add 90,000 to 140,000 additional annual home purchases.

The cost of the mortgage insurance premium on an FHA loan was .90% back in 2010, increased to 1.15% in 2011, then to 1.25% in 2012 and finally 1.35% in 2013.  NAR first addressed this issue back in April 2014 when, then President, Steve Brown wrote a letter to Carol Galante, the Assistant Secretary for Housing at the time, to draw her attention to the impact the higher fees were having on the housing market and urging her to take action to lower the premiums.  In the NAR letter, it was pointed out in 2014 FHA fees accounted for nearly 20 percent of a homeowners monthly mortgage payment.

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