March 25th, 2011
With its extremely low down payment, the Federal Housing Agency (FHA) loan is the primary method for financing for homebuyers across the country. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, the FHA loan will be undergoing some changes that could have a major effect on affordability.
“About 56% of mortgages for a home purchase were FHA-insured in 2009, up from 6% in 2007,” reported the WSJ. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, up to 80% of those who received an FHA loan were first-time homebuyers.
Currently these loans can be for up to $729,750 in high-cost markets, but the Obama administration is recommending that these high limits expire in October. $625,500 would be the new high limit.
More changes to the FHA program are seen on the horizon. “On April 18, the annual mortgage-insurance premium on new FHA loans is set to rise by a quarter of a percentage point on 30- and 15-year mortgages,” states the article. In addition, some predict that the standard 3.5% down payment could soon rise to 5%.
What do you think about these expected changes to the program and the impact it might have on the market?