Recently, the Obama Administration announced, with much fanfare, that it was directing the Federal Housing Administration to reduce annual mortgage insurance premiums by 50 basis points, from 1.35% to 0.85%, as part of “major new steps” to make mortgages more affordable and accessible for creditworthy families.
The administration said that the premium cut would save an average first-time homebuyer $900 in their annual mortgage payment, but new analysis from RealtyTrac reveals just how much FHA borrowers will actually save.
The county-level report shows that for some counties, the savings are much greater than $900, but other counties fall far below the $900 threshold.
In fact, according to a HousingWire analysis of the RealtyTrac data, of the 1,174 counties included in RealtyTrac’s report, 316 will actually save more than $900, while 858 will save less than $900.
So how did RealtyTrac arrive at their data? RealtyTrac Chief Economist Daren Blomquist explains:
RealtyTrac analyzed the data and found this would save $917 a year on a median-priced home nationwide, which is close to the claim Obama made. But we all know that no one actually pays the national median price for a home. People pay the price of a home in their market.
So RealtyTrac also looked at this on a county-by-county basis and created the following heat map to show where homebuyers will save the most, and also what markets would be considered affordable for median income earners — where a median income earner would need to spend 28% or less of his or her income to purchase a median-priced home — after the reforms, and which markets would still be unaffordable after the reforms.
According to RealtyTrac’s data, FHA borrowers in the county of Nantucket, Massachusetts, will by far save the most under the new FHA rules, with an annual savings of $7,961.25.
In fact, borrowers in the top 11 counties, by savings amount, will all save more than $3,000 per year.
Those counties are:
1. Nantucket, Massachusetts – $7,961.25
2. San Francisco, California – $4,778.70
3. Pitkin, Colorado – $4,439.00
4. New York, New York – $4,318.38
5. Marin, California – $4,231.53
6. San Mateo, California – $3,980.63
7. Teton, Wyoming – $3,662.18
8. Summit, Utah – $3,613.93
9. Santa Clara, California – $3,377.50
10. Falls Church City, Virginia – $3,063.88
11. Santa Cruz, California – $3,015.63
On the other hand, there are actually 11 counties where the FHA premium cut will save borrowers less than $200 per year. Those counties are:
1. Sequatchie, Tennessee – $195.17
2. Wayne, Tennessee – $188.18
3. Edgecombe, North Carolina – $180.84
4. Anson, North Carolina – $180.84
5. Upson, Georgia – $178.53
6. Grant, Indiana – $173.46
7. Hardeman, Tennessee – $169.36
8. Fayette, Indiana – $156.33
9. Sampson, North Carolina – $139.68
10. Lake, Tennessee – $123.05
11. Nash, North Carolina – $118.21
Below is a heat map provided by RealtyTrac that shows graphical representation of the projected savings for FHA borrowers.