This week, HUD released its annual report to Congress on the financial status of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Mutual Mortgage Insurance (MMI) Fund. The report demonstrates the long-term strength of the Fund while not shying away from the challenges it faces in the near-term due to ongoing stresses in the housing market. While the independent actuary reports older books of business underwritten during the bubble years of 2000-2008 are expected to produce losses of more than $26 billion, it also finds that FHA has a very strong platform going forward, with insurance on loans booked since January 2009 posting an estimated net economic value of $18 billion. Indeed, the actuary reports that the Fund still retains positive capital, and that it should be able to rebuild capital to the statutory requirement of two percent of insurance-in-force very quickly once housing markets across the county exhibit sustained growth.
Notwithstanding findings of the independent actuary that the FHA MMI Fund retains positive capital four years into the worst housing crisis since the Great Depression, a report commissioned by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) suggests that FHA both lacks an actuarially sound program and is in current need of a significant capital infusion.
Read the whole thing. It has actually stunned me how well FHA says done relative to AEI's paragon of virtue, the private market. Of course, it was the private labels security market that drove down FHA's market share during the worst of the lending market. FHA loans actually always required underwriting; underwriting in the private sector often disappeared.