Industry News

Real estate groups urge FHA reform

Coalition says reform would increase home ownership

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The National Association of Realtors has joined other industry organizations advocating reform of the Federal Housing Administration's single-family mortgage insurance program. NAR President Thomas M. Stevens told the Senate Housing and Transportation Subcommittee Tuesday that the long overdue reform will provide home buyers with an affordable alternative to higher-cost loans and help bridge the gab in minority home ownership. "FHA's market share has dwindled because its loan limits, down-payment requirement and fee structure have not kept pace with the current mortgage marketplace," said Stevens. As a result, a growing number of home buyers are deciding to use one of several new types of specialty mortgages, and FHA has become a lender of last resort, according to NAR. FHA loans account for only 3 percent of the overall mortgage market, compared with about 12 percent in the 1990s. On Monday, Sens. Jim Talent, R-Mo.; Johnny Isaakson, R-Ga.; Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.; and Mel M...