Government Mortgages May Get Pricier, Harder to Come By
Government loans, such as those backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the FHA, are slated to get more expensive and harder to qualify for, assuming changes recommended by the Treasury are implemented.
The agency released their recommendations for a complete overhaul of the mortgage market today, essentially calling for less attractive government-backed mortgages to restore the largely absent private market.
Among the changes they’d like to see are higher down payment requirements for Fannie and Freddie backed loans (10% down) and costlier annual mortgage insurance premiums on FHA loans (up .25%).
That, along with higher guarantee fees on loans securitized by Fannie and Freddie, should get the private market for mortgages up and running again.
Additionally, Treasury has recommended that the conforming loan limit fall to $625,500 from the current elevated level of $729,750 in the most expensive regions of the country on October 1, 2011.
All of these measures are aimed at reducing the government’s share of the mortgage market, which could prove a burden to taxpayers if not dealt with.
And the fear is that such changes could throw a wrench in a possible housing recovery later this year.
The report noted that more than nine out of every ten new mortgage are guaranteed or insured by the government.