February 7, 2019
NAR Pushes for Condo Rules
On Wednesday, January 30, NAR President John Smaby strongly urged U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Carson to release the long-awaited final Federal Housing Administration (FHA) condominium rules. For the past several years, NAR has been advocating for a revision of the condominium rules that would enable more deserving families to become homeowners without harming FHA’s financial stability. As of January 2019, FHA has approved only 9,427 of 52,410 condominium project applications. Given there are approximately 145,000 to 155,000 condominium projects in the U.S., this is an incredible loss of housing options to many prospective homebuyers.
USDA Issuing Conditional Commitments
Following the end of the government shut-down, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Housing Service is once again issuing Section 502 Conditional Commitments, which are required for USDA loans to close. Per USDA, there were 3,236 outstanding Conditional Commitment requests as a result of the government shut-down. USDA Rural Housing staff is working to get those USDA Guaranteed Loans processed. USDA has temporarily set-up a team dedicated solely to processing rural development loans. The estimate is that this team will be able to process 400 loans per week. This is in addition to the normal loan processing done by USDA Rural Housing staff. They expect to get through the backlog in the next few weeks.