Long-awaited FHA condo rules | boost to affordability
The following news is shared from an announcement by the National Association of Realtors.
HUD to announce long-awaited FHA condo rules | will give affordability a boost
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is expected to release updated guidance tomorrow on FHA-insured condominium financing. The new rules should benefit real estate clients and customers by allowing more buyers to obtain low down-payment mortgages on affordable housing options.
Specifically, the new rules will:
- Extend FHA certifications on condo developments from two years to three years, reducing the compliance burden on condo boards.
- Allow for single-unit mortgage approvals-often known as spot approvals-which will enable FHA insurance of individual condo units, even if the property does not have FHA approval.
- Secure additional flexibility in the ratio of investors to owner-occupants allowed for FHA financing in a condo building.
The full guidance will go into effect in mid-October, 60 days from publication.
“Condominiums are often the most affordable option for first-time homebuyers, small families, and those in urban areas,” said NAR President John Smaby, in a statement issued to the media Wednesday morning. ‘We are thrilled that (HUD) Secretary (Ben) Carson has taken this much-needed step to put the American dream within reach for thousands of additional families.”
Since 2008, NAR has championed policy changes in condo lending. NAR has sought rules that would allow the owner-occupancy level to be determined on a case-by-case basis and that
would extend the approval period for project certification to five years.
NAR’s existing-home sales report for June showed condominium and co-op sales at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 580,000 units, a decline of 3.3% from May and 6.5% from the same time last year. With more than 8.7 million condo units nationwide, only 17,792 FHA condo loans have been originated in the past year.
NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun recently noted that even though median prices for existing condos have risen slightly, their relative affordability means condominiums remain a natural answer to inventory shortages holding back home sales growth.
“Condos are typically more affordable than a detached single-family home, but only a small fraction of condos are FHA-certified,” Yun said last month.
NAR has advocated for changes to FHA’s condo policies that include allowing owner-occupancy level determination on a case-by-case basis, granting up to 45% commercial space without documentation and including a five-year approval period for project certification.
The FHA issued proposed changes to its condo rules in 2016 that would have allowed individual condo units to become eligible for FHA financing, but the proposed rules were never finalized.
HUD estimates that these new rules could cause anywhere from 20,000 to 60,000 condominium units to become eligible for FHA-insured financing annually.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]