2017-01-20 — washingtonpost.com
The move undid the quarter-point decrease in the FHA mortgage insurance premium that was announced earlier in the week by outgoing U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro. For most borrowers, it would have been a reduction to 0.60 percent from 0.85 percent.
House Republicans objected to the reduction because it would have lowered the amount of funds FHA has available to cover mortgage defaults. House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex.) issued a statement earlier in the week saying, "the Obama administration's parting gift to hardworking taxpayers is to put them at greater risk for footing the bill for another bailout."
... "According to our estimates, roughly 750,000 to 850,000 home buyers will face higher costs, and 30,000 to 40,000 new home buyers will be left on the sidelines in 2017 without the cut," William E. Brown, National Association of Realtors president, said in a statement. "We're disappointed in the decision but will continue making the case to reinstate the cut in the months ahead."
From the perspective of FHA being a bankrupt/fraudulent insurance fund, this is a good thing. However, it's just going to get bailed out anyways (in some form), so this consists of the removal of a marginal amount of housing-finance accessibility for a significant number of people. I.e., it's probably the fiscally right thing to do, but it's pretty interesting how scrooge-like of a move this is for one of Trump's first official acts....
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