FHA Changes, State of the Economy and some Scary Primary Research
If you follow the news, you might have seen recently that a lauded FHA reform bill recently passed into law and has been sent to the President. This bill, H.R. 5981, allows FHA to raise it’s mortgage insurance premium (MIP) also known as monthly mortgage insurance (MMI) from the current cap of .55% to a whopping 1.55% – this increases the monthly amount that you pay for insurance if you opt for an FHA loan. This was partially balanced out by a decrease in the upfront MIP to 1%.
This is, from our perspective, a mixed bag. It doesn’t completely destroy the benefits of FHA over Conventional Mortgage (low down payment remains the same) but it is a net downturn when it comes to marketing this type of loan. This change was made because FHA is critically under-capitalized (0.5% capitalization as opposed to the 2% required of them) and they needed to make changes to insure that they can stay liquid if things get even worse.
Why are they under-capitalized in the first place? As you can see below, HUD (the government entity responsible for FHA) has seen a spectacular spike in demand since 2007. Since their growth was so quick, the funding that they had and the loans currently adding money into their system were not enough to maintain a healthy capitalization ratio. Their solution? Up the monthly mortgage insurance across the board for new loans (many of their older loans no longer require the MMI). This will increase their liquidity, but ends up costing the consumer more in the end. Here is a chart that we threw together to show just how quickly their demand changed.
Today we got the newest unemployment data, and it’s not pretty. The Jobs report was expected to come in near -90,000 jobs in July, and instead we got -131,000. Worse than that, the revision for June shows an additional 100,000 jobs lost. Lets just call it a “margin of error”. This report, coupled with an increase in consumer saving, tells us that we are a long distance away from true recovery in our economic climate; many people do not have jobs and those that do lack consumer confidence and probably fear that they will be the next one to get axed; hence, they save more.
The one thing you wont see anywhere on this jobs report? Emergency unemployment recipients. these people, who have been taken off the normal structure of unemployment, magically disappear as far as this report is concerned, so instead of having a clear, concise view of hire/fire in our economy, this economic indicator is severely compromised, and may actually present a rosier picture than reality dictates.
So, the Fed is “fluffing” the numbers to make things look better. 9.5% is not good………..we all know that. But the reality is much worse. Scary huh? That’s one big reason why the Personal Saving Rate in the US jumped back above 6%….because consumers are afraid that more bad news is on the way.
I do have some good news though………..your weekend is almost here. ☺
So, primary research time. I decided to take a look through the records and see who was still in the game, lending-wise, in Oregon. What I found, may not surprised you – about 7 out of 10 licenses are inactive at this point; a virtual exodus from what used to be a overcrowded business. Without being too rude,…. at the peak of the housing boom, I could have sworn that some lenders were hiring monkeys to take loan applications! So, I guess the moral of the story is that nowadays you have to be a true professional to make it in this business.
For all of our readers in the Real Estate, Construction, Mortgage and Housing fields, what do you think? Is your profession becoming less popular? Are you having a harder time finding customers? Have old colleagues jumped ship? Answer our poll and leave a comment!
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Geoff Boyd – PrimeLending – Clackamas, OR