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HMDA data shows reversal of shrinking FHA market share

Regulators on Sept. 29 released mortgage data for 2015 thatshowed increases in both refinance and home purchase originations. The dataalso showed a reversal in the shrinking share of loans insured by the FederalHousing Administration, or FHA.

The data, compiled via the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act,showed a 36% increase in refinance volume and a 13% increase in home purchaseloans. Low interest rates have spurred refinancing activity, and home buying ison the rise as home prices have shown steady growth in recent years.

However, the number of institutions declined by 2.5% in thelatest data, which regulators largely attributed to mergers and acquisitions.

The mortgage data also provides insights on the types ofloans and on rejection rates, broken down by race. Mortgages insured by the FHAincreased to a 25% market share from 21% in 2014 for site-built, single-family,owner-occupied properties. That represented a reversal of shrinking FHA marketshare seen since 2009 as some banks, most notably , spurned theproduct because they were upset by the government's handling of the financialcrisis and fines imposed. Regulators noted in the data release that the FHAreduced mortgage insurance premiums in January 2015, making the product moreattractive.

Among minorities, the share of single-family home purchaseloans to black borrowers increased to 5.2% from 4.9%, and the share of suchloans to Hispanic borrowers increased to 7.9% from 7.5%.