Home/Mortgages/FHA Mortgage Applications Surge in March

May 1, 2012 (Shirley Allen)

Applications for mortgage loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) surged in March as purchase applications soared by almost 60 percent and refinance applications jumped by ten percent according to the agency’s Single-Family Outlook report for March.

A total of 205,778 FHA loan applications were submitted in March, 32.5 percent higher than the 155,248 applications submitted in the previous month and 29.8 percent higher than the 158,478 applications submitted in March of last year.

Loan applications for refinancing a current mortgage increased 10.0 percent from February with a total of 80,351 applications submitted in March compared to 73,076 in February. Refinance applications were 63.2 percent higher than in March of last year when 49,238 applications were submitted.

The total number of applications submitted for the purpose of purchasing a home was significantly higher in March, increasing by 57.0 percent compared to February. A total of 118,352 applications were submitted in March to purchase homes, up from 75,377 applications submitted in February. Purchase applications were 17.9 percent higher than in March of last year when 100,402 applications were submitted.

Completed applications grew by 11.5 percent from February to March, increasing from 90,561 to 100,939. March’s loan completions were also 1.8 percent higher than the 99,112 loan completed a year ago.

Loans for purchased homes accounted for 53.7 percent of all completed FHA insured loans in March with 54,180 completed, an increase of 7.5 percent from February, but 6.7 percent lower than the 58,057 purchase money mortgages in March of 2011.

Refinanced loans accounted for 42.0 percent of all completed loans in March, which was 25.6 percent higher than last year. The 42,378 loans completed in March were 21.9 percent higher than in February.

The average FICO score for a homebuyer securing an FHA loan in March was 696, the same as in February but down from 703 a year ago. For refinanced loans, the average FICO score in March was 710, up two from the previous month and up from 705 a year earlier.

The number of seriously delinquent loans insured by the FHA declined in March, falling 2.2 percent from February but still 21.9 percent higher than a year ago.

Loans that were 90 days or more past due fell by 16,041 in March bringing the total number of seriously delinquent loans in the FHA’s portfolio to 707,863. In the last year, the number of seriously delinquent loans has increased by 127,383.

The serious delinquency rate was 9.4 percent in March, down from 9.7 percent in February but up from 8.3 percent in March 2011.

At the end of March, the FHA had 7,590,450 insured single-family mortgages in its portfolio with an amortized balance of $1.064 trillion.

The number of loans insured by the FHA has increased by 8.7 percent in the last year while the amortized balance has increased by 10.1 percent.

Tags: FHA, Single-family Outlook report, loan originations, purchase loans, refinance loans, FICO score, serious delinquency rate