March 27, 2012 (Shirley Allen)

Applications for mortgage loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) jumped again in February as both purchase and refinance applications surged during the month according to the agency’s Single-Family Outlook report for February.

A total of 155,248 FHA loan applications were submitted in February, 22.4 percent higher than the 126,835 applications submitted in the previous month. The total number of applications submitted was also higher than in February of last year when 114,215 applications were submitted, a gain of 35.9 percent.

Loan applications for refinancing a current mortgage increased 22.8 percent from January with a total of 73,076 applications submitted in February compared to 59,493 in January. Refinance applications were 91.9 percent higher than in February of last year when 38,076 applications were submitted.

The total number of applications submitted for the purpose of purchasing a home was also higher in February, increasing by 22.5 percent compared to January. A total of 75,377 applications were submitted in February to purchase homes, up from 61,547 applications submitted in January. Purchase applications were 10.9 percent higher than in February of last year when 67,990 applications were submitted.

Completed applications declined 11.2 percent from January to February, falling from 102,011 to 90,561. February’s loan completions were still 2.6 percent higher than the 88,269 loan completed a year ago.

Loans for purchased homes accounted for 55.6 percent of all completed FHA insured loans in February with 50,378 completed, a decline of 18.3 percent from January, but still 7.4 percent higher than the 46,899 purchase money mortgages in February of 2011.

Refinanced loans accounted for 38.4 percent of all completed loans in February, which was 0.8 percent higher than last year. The 34,757 loans completed in February were 1.2 percent lower than in January.

The average FICO score for a homebuyer securing an FHA loan in February was 696, the same as in January but down from 703 a year ago. For refinanced loans, the average FICO score in February was 708, up two from the previous month and up from 706 a year earlier.

The number of seriously delinquent loans insured by the FHA declined in February, falling 1.4 percent from January but still 16.8 percent higher than a year ago.

Loans that were 90 days or more past due fell by 9,940 in February bringing the total number of seriously delinquent loans in the FHA’s portfolio to 723,904. In the last year, the number of seriously delinquent loans has increased by 104,192.

The serious delinquency rate was 9.7 percent in February, down from 9.8 percent in January but up from 8.9 percent in February 2011.

At the end of February, the FHA had 7,494,104 insured single-family mortgages in its portfolio with an amortized balance of $1.048 trillion.

The number of loans insured by the FHA has increased by 8.1 percent in the last year while the amortized balance has increased by 9.5 percent.

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