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DECEMBER 2012 IDAHO
MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL MAGAZINE
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FHA Reserves: The Rest of the Story This year’s federally-mandated annual independent Federal “… make sure you have your purHousing Administration (FHA) chase lead generation systems in audit was completed recently, place now, so you can easily and not surprisingly, every replace your refinance volume media channel I saw (The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, when it decreases!” and Wall Street Journal to name a few) focused on the single piece of negative data that was there. Am I surprised? No. Does this type of coverage on housing help the recovery and instill confidence in homebuyers and sellers? No. I did my own analysis of the 235-page audit performed by Integrated Financial Engineering Inc. based in Rockville, Md. Below, I will highlight some of what I found, which may give you a different perspective on the report. The first thing to bring to your attention is this: The audit gave FHA insurance fund projections through the year 2019. The media only focused on the deficit that is estimated to occur this month, December of 2012. Well, what about the future years? The audit states that: “Both the economic value and the Insurance In Force (IIF) portion of the Fund are expected to increase each year over the next seven years … Our current projections indicate that the Fund’s economic value will increase in the future, rising by an average of $9.68 billion per year through the next 7 years and reach $54.25 billion by the end of FY 2019.” In other words, according to the report, the fund is actually projected to begin strengthening through 2013 and beyond. Hmmm. That paints a different picture than the media, doesn’t it? The report also stated that: “We project that there is approximately a five percent chance that the Fund’s capital resources could turn negative during the next seven years.” Stated another way, there is a 95 percent chance that the fund will be positive over the next seven years. This sounds like a pretty positive projection to me! But then again, I’m not looking at it through the negative lens of the larger media channels which only see the negative five percent chance.
Rates forecast For those of you who like to hear a prediction on what future interest rates will do, the audit quoted Moody’s forecast of rapid rising interest rates between 2013-2015, with rates stabilizing sometime in 2016 and dropping again between 2016-2017. For those of you who are overwhelmed with the volume of refinances, thus ignoring your referral partners for purchase business, take heed. This, as another indicator, that it behooves you to take the time to develop your strategy for generating purchase transactions. Take a look at what percentage your pipeline is refinance business. Is it 65 percent, maybe 75 percent? Now ask yourself what your paycheck would look like with a 65-75 percent decrease. That might hurt a bit … yes? continued on page 26