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NAR supports FHA HAWK program, but says it needs to go further

Jul 01, 2014
The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) has issued a letter of support for the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) efforts to reduce mortgage insurance premiums for first-time buyers through its Homeowners Armed with Knowledge (HAWK) program. However, NAR is concerned the program won’t significantly reduce premiums or reach enough qualified buyers. 

First-time homebuyers who participate in the four-year pilot program will benefit at closing from a 50 basis points reduction in the upfront mortgage insurance premium and a 10 basis points reduction in the annual premium.  If buyers complete post-closing housing counseling and do not have delinquencies greater than 90 days in the first 18 months after closing, they will receive an additional 15 basis points reduction on the annual premium starting the loan’s 25th month. 

NAR President Steve Brown said: “As the leading advocate for homeowners, REALTORS are concerned about FHA’s high annual mortgage insurance premiums and the insurance requirement for the life of the loan. FHA fees make up nearly 20 percent of a monthly mortgage payment today and are making it more difficult for qualified buyers to purchase a home. Since FHA is on target to meet and exceed its capital reserve requirements in the next fiscal year, we encourage FHA to support premium reductions across the board.”

To read the entire NAR press release, click here.
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