Takeaways:

  • Through July of this year, FHA buyers accounted for 22 percent of all financed purchases of U.S. single-family homes and condos.
  • That signals the return of traditional homebuyers, including first-time homebuyers and boomerang buyers recovering from a previous homeownership experience that ended in foreclosure or short sale.
  • Markets with the highest share of FHA buyers so far in 2015 were led by the California cities of Visalia (46 percent), Modesto (42 percent), Bakersfield (39 percent) and Stockton (36 percent), with Ogden, Utah (36 percent) rounding out the top five.

Through July of this year, FHA buyers accounted for 22 percent of all financed purchases of U.S. single-family homes and condos. This figure is up 20 percent from 2014 to the highest share of FHA buyers since 2012, according to RealtyTrac data.

That signals the return of traditional homebuyers, including first-time homebuyers and boomerang buyers recovering from a previous homeownership experience that ended in foreclosure or short sale.

Both of these buyer types have little equity to bring to the closing table in the form of a down payment, which makes a low down payment FHA loan a good fit. It’s especially a good fit considering the lower insurance premiums in effect as of January of this year and the threat of rising interest rates later this year that could make buying a home less affordable.

The interactive data visual below shows FHA buyer share among all metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 300,000 or more on the heat map along with a breakout graph for metro areas with a population of 3,000,000 or more.

Markets with the highest share of FHA buyers so far in 2015 were led by the California cities of Visalia (46 percent), Modesto (42 percent), Bakersfield (39 percent) and Stockton (36 percent), with Ogden, Utah (36 percent) rounding out the top five.

Daren Blomquist is the vice president of RealtyTrac.

Email Daren Blomquist.

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