The Voice for Real Estate 98: FHA Tightening, Gen X, Floods, Fair Housing

Some 50,000 loan applicants could be affected as FHA tightens standards for higher-risk borrowers. REALTORS® have stepped up to help in the aftermath of Midwestern floods but more help is needed, and Gen Xers are buying bigger homes to accommodate multigenerational families. Also, NAR supports expanding Fair Housing to include protections based on gender identity and sexual orientation. The video this week is sponsored by the REALTOR Benefits® program.


Tougher standards for high-risk FHA borrowers

Gen X'ers are buying bigger homes! We'll tell you why.

And REALTORS® continue to help a month after Midwest floods

These stories and more in The Voice for Real Estate

Hi, I'm Stephen Gasque with the National Association of REALTORS®

The Federal Housing Administration is tightening its standards for high risk borrowers. In mid-March the FHA said if the borrower has a credit score below 620 and a debt-to-income ratio of 43 percent, they would require loan applications to be processed manually, rather than through automated underwriting programs. Here's NAR's Sehar Siddiqi with more.


As many as 50,000 loan applications a year are expected to be affected by this change. But - some of these applicants might still get the home loan they want! It just might take - longer.


Who's in the market for larger homes? New NAR research says GenXers are, because it's the age group most likely to buy a home to accommodate multiple generations. GenXers are those born between the mid-1960s and early 1980s, and they're now at the age where they're most likely to have aging parents or adult children living with them. Here's NAR's Jessica Lautz with more.


The most active buyers are millennials, who were born between the mid-1980s and mid-1990s. NAR's report found that younger millennials often bypass renting altogether and go straight from their parents' home into a home that they own.


It was all over the news a month ago-devastating floods throughout the Midwest. Missouri, South Dakota, Iowa, and Kansas were all affected. And in Nebraska, the floods caused the most extensive damage the state has ever experienced, according to the governor's office. Now, although the waters have receded, the destruction the flooding caused remains. That's why the REALTORS® Relief Foundation has teamed up with the Nebraska REALTORS® Association to get assistance to families who are struggling in the aftermath.


You can help by making a contribution to the Realtors Relief Foundation at


In Washington now, Shannon McGahn, NAR Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, joined the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals at the group's recent housing policy conference. At that session, McGahn emphasized REALTROS®' support for expanding Fair Housing Act protections to people based on sexual orientation and gender identity.


NAR amended its Code of Ethics almost 10 years ago to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. We'll keep you updated as The Equality Act-a bill NAR supports-makes makes its way through Congress.


And that's our show for the week of April 22. You can get everything we talked about today at The Voice for Real Estate page on Thank you for joining us and be sure to join us again as we bring you the latest news at the Voice for Real Estate.

FHA update: