An article over at CNBC.com is highlighting some startling information from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), information that’s conjuring up awfully bad memories for many people.
According to the MBA, delinquencies of Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgages rose in the fourth quarter of 2016, marking the first such upward movement since 2006. FHA-insured loans are typically characterized by less-stringent underwriting standards and lower interest rates, as well as minimal down payments - FHA borrowers need only put 3.5 percent down on home purchases.
The MBA’s data shows the FHA delinquency rate for Q4 2016 was 9.02 percent, up from the third quarter’s rate of 8.3 percent.
The spike is prompting many who remember the 2008 real estate plunge all too well to think, “Oh no…here we go again.”
Tellingly, the CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, David Stevens, is not dismissing such concerns out of hand.
“We had been experiencing great credit quality for so long, and to suddenly see this quarter-over-quarter reversal was a surprise, and we're looking closely at it,” said Stevens.
“When we see a blip like this, we get concerned about whether that it is a trend,” he continued. “And getting these premiums priced appropriately to provide access to home ownership — but also to protect the taxpayer — is that really important balance that the incoming secretary is going to have to focus on with his team to make sure we don't put the taxpayer at risk or the program at risk — and that's the challenge.”
Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large