The government-insured (FHA and VA loans) share of mortgage applications was 35.9 percent in June 2009, the highest level since November 1990, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). Based on data from MBA's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey, the government-insured share jumped from 25.7 percent a month earlier and 27.0 percent in June 2008. Since the MBA survey's inception in January 1990, the lowest recorded share was 5.8 percent in August 2005.
The government-insured share of purchase applications in June was 38.6 percent, up from 27.8 percent one year ago. The government-insured share of purchase applications has averaged 36.6 percent to date in 2009, compared to an average of 21.8 percent during the same period in 2008. The low point was in August 2005 when it was 6.8 percent.
"A primary reason government-insured loans have retained a high share of the purchase market is that these loans typically require lower down payments than conventional loans," said Orawin Velz, MBA's Associate Vice President of Economic Forecasting. "In addition, lending standards tend to be tighter for conventional loans, especially for loans that require private mortgage insurance."
"While the government-insured share of purchase applications has remained elevated, the government-insured share of refinance applications has been volatile. The share hit a record high of 38.4 percent in October 2008. As mortgage rates fell sharply between mid-November through early May, refinance activity surged for conventional loans. This surge in conventional refinance applications dominated the market, causing the share of FHA refinance applications to fall below 20 percent for most of this year. Recent increases in mortgage rates have caused conventional refinance activity to drop much more sharply than government-insured refinance activity due to a combination of credit and LTV requirements. As a result, the government-insured share of refinance applications climbed to 33.6 percent in June," Velz said.
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