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Tag Archives: HUD

FHA Releases Revised Manual Underwriting Guidelines

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) published on Wednesday new guidelines for lenders to use when manually underwriting loan applications for borrowers applying for FHA-insured mortgages. Chief among the changes is a set of "compensating factors" for lenders to use when considering borrowers whose debt-to-income percentages exceed established ratios (31 percent for housing costs and 43 percent for total discretionary debt).

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FHA to Bring Down Loan Limits for 2014

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is bringing down loan limits on single-family mortgages next year, HUD announced Friday. According to the announcement, FHA's revised ceiling for single-family loan limits will come down to $625,000 from $729,750. "As the housing market continues its recovery, it is important for FHA to evaluate the role we need to play," said FHA Commissioner Carol Galante. "Implementing lower loan limits is an important and appropriate step as private capital returns to portions of the market."

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October New Home Sales Speed to Fastest Pace in Six Months

Sales of new single-family homes were at an estimated seasonally adjusted annual pace of 354,000 in September, Census and HUD reported. In October, the sales pace picked up to an estimated 444,000, an increase of 25.4 percent month-over-month and 21.6 percent year-over-year. As of month's end, the seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale for 183,000, representing a 4.9 month supply at the current sales rate, the agencies reported.

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Housing Permits Climb to 5 1/2-Year High in October

The Census Bureau and HUD jointly released their data on building permits for September and October, with data on housing starts and completions postponed due to a lack of funds as a result of the government shutdown. In October, privately owned housing units authorized by building permits were at a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.034 million--the strongest figure since June 2008. Permit activity picked up for both single- and multifamily properties.

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SunTrust Squares Up Legacy Issues with GSEs, Federal Agencies

SunTrust announced Thursday that it has taken further steps to clear up its mortgage problems with the government and with the GSEs. On top of an agreement reached with Freddie Mac at the end of September, SunTrust has settled with HUD, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Reserve for allegedly unsound practices with respect to its servicing and origination operations. The Atlanta-based lender estimates its third-quarter earnings will take a $179 million hit as a result.

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HUD Releases Proposed QM Definition

HUD released on Monday a proposal to define the type of qualified mortgage (QM) that would be insured, guaranteed, or administered by the agency. The proposed definition is aligned with the Ability-to-Repay rule laid out in the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and includes provisions that prohibit loan terms in excess of 30 years and that limit upfront points and fees to no more than 3 percent--making it consistent with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's existing QM rule.

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Pending Sales See Third Straight Monthly Drop

Responding again to higher mortgage rates, the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) slipped for the third straight month, dropping 1.6 percent in August to 107.7--the lowest level since April, the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which compiles the index, reported Thursday. NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said the drop was expected as a consequence of buyers accelerating purchase decisions while mortgage rates were first increasing.

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New Home Sales Recover From July Plunge

Builders lowered prices and buyers responded in August, pushing new home sales up 7.9 percent to 421,000, reversing almost half of July's 64,000 drop in sales, the Census Bureau and HUD reported Wednesday. The report for August showed a slight shift away from higher-priced homes as houses priced at $500,000 or more accounted for 9 percent of August sales, down from 12 percent in July. Homes priced at $300,000 or less represented 63 percent of all August sales, unchanged from July.

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