Originations of single-family Federal Housing Administration mortgages have tailed off during the first two months of 2010.
Loan production fell to $22.3 billion in February — off 25% since December, according to the FHA's monthly activity report, released Tuesday.
Lenders originated $30.1 billion of FHA-insured loans in December and $26 billion in January. February's loan production could be off because of severe winter weather.
The FHA report also shows that the serious delinquency rate fell to 9.17% in February from 9.4% in the previous month.
However, the report shows the federal mortgage insurance program is seeing heavy demand for streamlined refinancings, which could be problematic.
Streamlined refis are given to borrowers who already have FHA loans to allow them to lower their mortgage payments. They used to be considered low-risk transactions. But the FHA completed 329,400 streamline refinancings in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, and 5.5% are already 90 days or more past due, according to the agency, part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Through February the FHA had put its stamp on another 134,800 streamlined refinancings.
The FHA is projecting it could do 311,500 streamlined refinancings by Sept. 30, when the government's fiscal year ends.