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Tag Archives: Urban Institute

Updated: Obama Announces Cuts to FHA Insurance Premiums

The White House announced Wednesday that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will reduce mortgage insurance premiums in an effort to boost U.S. homeownership. The announcement is welcome news to many of housing's biggest trade organizations, who have been vocal in the past few months about the consequences of higher premiums.

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Mortgage Denials Point to Much Tighter Market

In a report released Tuesday, researchers at the Urban Institute (UI) say that previous "traditional" observations of mortgage denial rates (calculated by dividing the number of denied mortgages by the total number of applications) provide an inaccurate look at credit availability because they include applicants with near-perfect credit profiles—those who are unlikely to be turned down for most products, in other words.

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Groups Offer Guidance on Proposed G-Fee Hike

As the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) mulls over a proposed increase in guarantee fees, a new report from the Urban Institute (UI) suggests the agency faces a more difficult task than one might assume. In a commentary released Thursday, UI authors Laurie Goodman, Ellie Seidman, Jim Parrott, and Jun Zhu say that, based on their modeling, g-fee determination "is an art, not a science—and more like a Jackson Pollock than a da Vinci."

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Ginnie Mae on Track to Surpass Freddie

On Wednesday, the Urban Institute (UI) issued a report finding that, based on the latest numbers, Ginnie's book of business is now at $1.5 trillion—a rate of growth that has tripled over the last seven years. What this means is that at its current rate of growth, Ginnie Mae will soon surpass Freddie Mac as the silver medalist in the single-family mortgage securitization platform game, behind Fannie Mae.

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Urban Institute Breaks Down GSE Denial Rates

A new blog post from the Urban Institute asserts recent numbers on loan denial rates for minorities weren't too high; rather, they may have been too low. Using HMDA data, the group examined the credit profiles of applicants, noting that the denial rate really only matters for weaker credit profile applicants—they are more likely to get denied.

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FHA Unveils Blueprint to Loosen Credit Access, Lower Risk

As part of its efforts to expand credit access to more borrowers, the Federal Housing Administration has introduced its "Blueprint for Access," which includes a new counseling program for borrowers using FHA-insured financing. The plan has its critics, including the American Enterprise Institute's Edward Pinto, who argues that FHA "has not stood for sustainable homeownership for at least five decades."

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Is Credit Really Loosening? Maybe Not

In a blog post published late last week, Urban Institute’s researchers assert, “A market composition change—not lower lending standards—explains the decrease in average credit scores for conventional and FHA [Federal Housing Administration] mortgages. “Despite rising home prices and gradual housing recovery, the mortgage lending rules have remained tight, inhibiting housing demand and economic growth,” they continue.

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Tight Credit Standards Create Up to 1.22M in ‘Lost’ Loans

Tight credit conditions have pushed as many as 1.22 million loans out of the market per year over the last few years, researchers at the Urban Institute (UI) assert in a new commentary. Admitting that their calculation method “likely ... [overstates] the impact of tighter credit,” they also calculated a scaled lower bound estimate of 273,000 “missing” first-lien purchase loans—though they maintain the "true" number is likely on the higher end.

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