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Idaho Home Prices Up; FHA Streamline Refinance Popular

By: Lisa Burden | October 3rd, 2012

Home prices in August rose 4.6% over year ago levels, making it the biggest annual leap in prices since July of 2006, CoreLogic said in its recently released Pending Home Price Index. August represented the sixth consecutive month of price increases when comparing sale values to year ago levels. Those figures included distressed sales, which may be sold at lower values. When excluding distressed sales, home prices in August jumped 4.9% from 2011, according to the study.

Idaho experienced one of the largest price increases, logging in a 10.4% jump in house values. Housing markets gains are increasingly geographically diverse with only six states continuing to show declining prices.

Month-to-month prices edged up slightly, when comparing August to July, prices rose 0.3%. Gains in housing values and another round of lows in interest rates have caused refinance applications to hit three-year highs. The Mortgage Bankers Association said refinancing activity shot up 20 percent for the week ending Sept. 28.

One popular program is offered by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The FHA Streamline Refinance program drastically eliminates the amount of paperwork that has to be provided to the lender. The program’s requirements are minimal. A borrower does not have to demonstrate employment under an FHA Streamline Refinance. Income verification is not required and the borrower’s credit score is not checked. However, lender requirements may vary.

But, borrowers must be current on their existing FHA mortgage and the refinance must show a legitimate reason for refinancing, i.e., “net tangible benefit.” One example of a net tangible benefit is refinancing from an adjusting ARM into a fixed rate loan and, of course, there’s always the benefit in lowering monthly mortgage payments by obtaining one of the super low interest rates available today. The streamline refinance does not allow for cash out.

Borrowers are finding that obtaining a refinance through online resources is convenient. Instead of searching for a single lender to assist with an FHA Streamline Refinance, multiple lenders who are able to help borrowers with this program are available in one place. The online form is available for this purpose. Besides being convenient, it is fast as a response is returned almost immediately and added security is provided because a social number is not needed.

FreeRateUpdate.com surveys more than two dozen wholesale and direct lenders’ rate sheets to determine the most accurate mortgage rates available to well qualified consumers at a standard 0.7 to 1% origination fee.


Latest HARP Mortgage News April 1st, 2014