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Audit Shows FHA Fund is Healthy, Time to Lower Mortgage Insurance Premiums, Say Realtors®

Media Contact: Jenny Werwa / 202-383-1193 / Email

WASHINGTON (November 17, 2014) – The following is a statement by National Association of Realtors® President Chris Polychron:

“NAR is pleased that the 2014 Actuarial Review of the Federal Housing Administration released today confirms that the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund is healthy and continues its positive trajectory. The ongoing decline in delinquencies and stabilizing home values indicate that FHA will stay on track to rebuild its capital reserve fund and ultimately meet the 2 percent excess reserve amount required by Congress.   

“Now that the MMI Fund is on a path to recovery, NAR urges FHA to lower its annual mortgage insurance premiums and eliminate the requirement that mortgage insurance be held for the life of the loan. Achieving homeownership has become more difficult with current FHA mortgage insurance premiums.

“NAR estimates that in 2013, nearly 400,000 creditworthy borrowers were priced out of the housing market because of high FHA insurance premiums. By lowering its fees, FHA could provide greater access to homeownership for historically underserved groups. To put it in perspective, over the past four years, the percent share of first-time buyers using FHA-backed loans shrank from 56 percent to 39 percent.

“A shift in policy would also increase the volume of borrowers acquiring FHA-backed loans and contribute to the solvency of the MMI Fund.

“NAR is a strong supporter of the FHA and its vital role in the mortgage marketplace. In light of this report, NAR believes that Congress should not dramatically change the FHA or redefine its purpose. We will continue our work with FHA to help make the dream of homeownership a reality for millions more Americans.” 

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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