Voice for Real Estate 61: FHA Premium, Carson, Reverse Mortgages

In one of its first actions, the Trump Administration suspended a planned decrease in the FHA mortgage insurance premium. Other segments look at the nomination of Ben Carson to be HUD secretary, the latest on home sales, and how consumers can use a reverse mortgage to purchase a home. Get more on this the latest Voice for Real Estate news video from NAR. 

Featured segments

  • Sales at 10-year high
  • FHA MIP reduction 
  • Carson nomination 
  • Reverse mortgage for purchase 


Homes sales hit a 10-year high 

The Trump Administration suspends FHA’s mortgage insurance premium reduction

And environmental reviews could get easier

These stories and more on The Voice for Real Estate

Hi, I’m Stephen Gasque of the National Association of Realtors. 

2016 was a very good year for home sales.  The year ended with the highest number of home sales in a decade! Across America, 5.45 million existing homes sold, a quarter-million more than the previous year. 

Great news – but how about THIS year? Well, to sustain that strong performance, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says, we’ll need more homes for sale….to relieve tight inventory.


Yun is predicting existing home sales to increase by nearly two percent over last year. But a possible challenge? What will happen – to mortgage interest rates? 


The Trump administration is underway and -- in one of its first moves, it suspended a decrease in the annual mortgage insurance premium for FHA home loans. The decrease, which NAR supported, would have lowered the premium for most new FHA-backed loans by about a quarter point. NAR’s Sehar Siddiqi has more.


NAR has let HUD know - the reduction should be put back on the books and the association will be moving aggressively make sure the Administration understands how the lower premiums will benefit middle-class households.


In other administration news, the Senate last week approved the nomination of Dr. Ben Carson to be the next secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. NAR joined Senators from both sides of the aisle in supporting the nomination because the former pediatric neurosurgeon has made it clear he understands the role housing plays in building communities. 


NAR President William Brown has reached out to Secretary Carson to congratulate him and to talk about working together on housing goals. 


The new administration has also taken quick action on an environmental matter that could have a big impact on real estate development. Last week, President Trump issued an executive order that instructs federal agencies to move faster on environmental reviews. In some cases, those agencies may be required to conduct an expedited review. And if they doesn’t meet deadlines? They could face punitive actions. NAR’s Russell Riggs has more.


Also – NAR is watching another environmental issue. It involves a rule the Obama administration put out almost two years ago. That rule seeks to expand the number of waterways and wetlands that receive protection under the Clean Water Act. NAR opposes the rule, which has been highly controversial and faces court challenges. And now critics of the rule are waiting to see whether the Trump Administration will rescind that rule.


You’re probably familiar with reverse mortgages. These are mortgages, federally insured by the FHA, that enable seniors to take equity out of their home and use that money to meet living expenses. But did you know there’s another kind of reverse mortgage, also insured by FHA, that lets seniors buy a house with the proceeds? 

The reverse mortgage for purchase is intended for seniors who have the means to buy a home but don’t want to tie up their money making monthly mortgage payments. Payments come out of the reverse mortgage, freeing up their money for other expenses. 

It’s complicated! So, to explain how these mortgages work and answer your questions, Realtor Magazine is hosting reverse mortgage experts in a webcast on February 22. You can watch it live, and ask questions.  

Here’s NAR’s Jon Boughtin, the host of the webcast. 


To sign up for the webcast, just go to NAR.REALTOR and search “Using a reverse mortgage to buy a home.”


And that’s our show for the week of January 30. You can get more on everything we talked about at The Voice for Real Estate page on NAR.REALTOR. Thank you for joining us and be sure to join us again as we bring you the latest news on The Voice for Real Estate.