Chris Polychron on FHA MMI Fund, 2015 Priorities

14-574-0_2095eHousingwire has a story on the Federal Housing Administration and the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund for single-family programs. According to the agency’s report, the financial health of the regulating agency improved dramatically but that it still has a way to go with its finances. The FHA boasted a $21 billion improvement since late 2012, after implementing a series of financing changes.

2015 NAR President Chris Polychron is quoted:

 “Now that the MMI Fund is on a path to recovery, NAR urges FHA to lower its annual mortgage insurance premiums and eliminate the requirement that mortgage insurance be held for the life of the loan. Achieving homeownership has become more difficult with current FHA mortgage insurance premiums…NAR estimates that in 2013, nearly 400,000 creditworthy borrowers were priced out of the housing market because of high FHA insurance premiums. By lowering its fees, FHA could provide greater access to homeownership for historically underserved groups. To put it in perspective, over the past four years, the percent share of first-time buyers using FHA-backed loans shrank from 56% to 39%.”

The MMI Fund gained almost $6 billion in value in the past 12 months, printing now at $4.8 billion. This is a vast improvement from last year when it fell short by more than $1.3 billion.

In a separate story, Polychron discusses his 2015 presidential term with Steve A. Brown, NAR’s Liaison for Large Residential Firms Relations. Among his priorities is data:

 “One of the areas I want to work on is making sure members have availability to big data and understand how to use it effectively. All REALTORS® must have good technology training so they can use data for the benefit of the consumer. In the past, we gave away our data and got no value for it. As we move forward as an industry, our members will continue to accumulate accurate, timely data and gather insight into properties by using a wide variety of sources. More than any other group, these efforts will steer consumers toward REALTORS®.”

Check out the full interview published RISMedia.