The new report, which was delayed because of the government shutdown, shows that purchase mortgages accounted for 65% of transactions—the highest rate this year.
Purchase loan endorsements totaled 63,800 in August, down from 66,550 in the prior month. Nearly 80% of the purchase loans went to first-time homebuyers.
Back in May during the refinancing boom, purchase mortgage transactions accounted for 50% of loan endorsements but loan production was much higher. FHA lenders endorsed 123,800 single-family loans in May.
FHA also reported that prepayments of FHA loans in August totaled 86,400 and 25,800 of those borrowers refinanced back into a FHA-insured loan.
That is a slight improvement over July, when prepayments hit 102,400 and just 30,350 of the borrowers refinanced into a FHA loan.
Heavy prepayments are a concern because it robs FHA of needed insurance premiums.
FHA commissioner Carol Galante testified before a House panel Tuesday and indicated the insurance fund is showing signs of improvement.
The serious delinquency rate on FHA’s insured portfolio fell below 8% in August from 9.5% a year ago.
The commissioner also noted that FHA presently has $48 billion in liquid assets to cover losses and claims, compared to $31 billion back in February.