A primary reason for the decline is due to the increase in mortgage insurance premiums and a new rule that no longer allows borrowers to opt out of mortgage insurance after establishing a steady record of payments.
Newsday reports that FHA borrowers are charged an annual mortgage insurance premium of up to 1.35% of the borrower’s outstanding balance on their loan, which is added to their monthly payment. Additionally, a fee of 1.75% is charged up front once the borrower closes on the loan.
For example, Newsday demonstrates exactly how the extra fees can add up: A borrower getting a $200,000 loan, after making a 3.5% down payment, pays $225 per month in FHA mortgage insurance, plus an upfront fee of $3,500. Say you keep that mortgage for 10 years before you sell or refinance — that adds up to about $30,000 in mortgage insurance fees.