This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS - See his portfolio and get alerts BEFORE every trade. Learn more NOW!

The evolution of FHA mortgage rates





Since its creation in 1934, the Federal Housing Administration's mission has been to provide access to mortgage loans for lower income, first-time buyers and minorities to encourage homeownership.

Before the FHA came along, most mortgage borrowers had short-term, balloon- or "bullet-payment" mortgages with down payments that averaged about 50 percent. While mortgage rates averaged 6 percent during most of the 1920s and 1930s, when the FHA came along with fixed interest rates that they set, competition grew, driving down average interest rates closer to 5 percent.

"The FHA started as a way to help families during the Great Depression by providing long-term loans with low down payment requirements," says Raphael Bostic, a professor with the Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and a former assistant secretary of the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development. "The early mortgage products that were available before the FHA were five-year loans with a balloon payment that required (at least) a 20 percent down payment. At the end of five years homeowners had to refinance or sell, which led to the massive loss of homes to foreclosure during the Depression."

Higher FHA mortgage rates

Today, most FHA borrowers have no idea that the FHA set their own interest rates until 1983, when the Housing and Rural Recovery Act mandated that FHA mortgage rates must be market-based.

"For the most part since 2000, FHA mortgage rates have been about 0.125 to 0.25 percent higher than conforming loans," says Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com. "FHA loans require more bureaucracy and special certification for lenders, so they cost more for lenders."

Year

Loan volume

Average FHA interest rate

Average conforming rate

2000

775,202

8.38 percent

8.26 percent

2003

1,128,108

6.07 percent

5.94 percent

2006

396,848

6.53 percent

6.50 percent

2009

1,731,343

5.33 percent

5.27 percent

2012

1,045,129

3.65 percent

3.85 percent

(Interest rates provided by HSH.com. FHA loan volume provided by HUD.)

"FHA loans vanished during the subprime loan boom (2004-2007) because people with a weak credit profile or a lack of cash could get subprime loans," says Rick Sharga, executive vice president of Auction.com in Irvine, Calif. "FHA loans made a comeback after the subprime market meltdown because it was almost the only place that borrowers could go. The FHA prevented a deeper fall off the cliff for the housing market. Without it, there would have been even more foreclosures."

Lower FHA mortgage rates

FHA mortgage rates began to be consistently lower than conforming loan rates by 0.125 to 0.25 percent beginning in 2010 in part because of the lack of penalties on FHA loans for having a lower credit score or a higher loan-to-value, says Gumbinger

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG

Markets

DOW 18,132.70 -81.72 -0.45%
S&P 500 2,104.50 -6.24 -0.30%
NASDAQ 4,963.5270 -24.3630 -0.49%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs