FHA Refinancings Exceed Purchase Mortgages in 4Q

FHA lenders originated $63.7 billion in FHA single-family loans in the fourth quarter of 2012, up 43% from a year ago—mainly due to strong demand for refinancings.

Refinancings totaled $32.7 billion in the fourth quarter, compared to $15.4 billion in the same quarter of 2011, according to the newly released December “Monthly Report to the Commissioner.”

The streamline refinance program for pre-June 2009 FHA-insured loans was launched in June 2012 and it’s still going strong. In December, FHA endorsed $10.6 billion in refinanced loans.

Overall, FHA originations (excluding reverse mortgages) held up pretty well in the fourth quarter. Lenders originated nearly $20 billion in FHA-insured loans in December, $21 billion in November and $22.7 billion in October.

For the full year, FHA endorsed $232.4 billion in single-family loans. (The December commissioner report did not contain fourth-quarter data on FHA-insured reverse mortgages.)

On the servicing side, FHA ended 2012 with a 9.48% serious delinquency rate, down from a 10.44% rate in December 2011.

As of Dec. 31, FHA servicers were managing 734,660 loans that are 90 days or more past due and 37,980 REO properties.