Thursday, November 15, 2012

2012 FHA Actuarial Review Released: Negative $13.5 Billion economic value

by Bill McBride on 11/15/2012 06:08:00 PM

From HUD: Actuarial Review of the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. Excerpts:

Based on our stochastic simulation analysis, we estimate that the economic value of the Fund as of the end of FY 2012 is negative $13.48 billion. This represents a $14.67 billion drop from the $1.19 billion estimated economic value as of the end of FY 2011.
We project that there is approximately a 5 percent chance that the Fund’s capital resources could turn negative during the next 7 years. We also estimate that under the most pessimistic economic scenario, the economic value could stay negative until at least FY 2019.
Update: A few comments from Tom Lawler:
The latest review concluded that the “economic value” of the FHA MMIF (ex HECMs) – defined as the sum of the MMIFs existing capital resources plus the present value of the current books of business, was NEGATIVE $13.478 billion at the end of FY 2012. Stated another way, the present value of expected future cash flows on outstanding business – a sizable negative $39.052 billion – outstrips the MMIF’s current capital resources (of $25.574 billion) by $13.478 billion. The FY actuarial review of FHA’s HECM business concluded that the “economic value” of the current FHA HECM book was NEGATIVE $2.799 billion at the end of FY 2012.

In last year’s actuarial review the “economic value” of the FHA MMIF (ex HECMs) at the end of FY 2011 was +$1.193 billion, and the projected economic value of the MMIF at the end of FY 2012 (under the “base case) scenario) was a POSITIVE $9.351 billion. In recent years, however, these “projections,” based on “reasonable” benign projections, have been ridiculously optimistic.

Contrary to what at least one press report said, the actuarial “unsoundness” of the FHA MMIF is NOT the result of mortgage loans insured at or near the peak of the housing bubble. The “honkingly big” losses (in dollars) are concentrated in the FY 2008 and FY 2009 “books (October 2007 – October 2009) – that is, loans insured in the first few years AFTER the peak in the housing bubble, when “private capital” for risky loans dried up and FHA experienced a surge in market share, AND took on a lot of very risky (by any standard) mortgages, a significant % of which should not have been made.

The “walk-forward” of the FY 2012’s economic value from a projection of positive $9.351 billion a year ago to negative $13.478 billion today is a little hard to follow or understand. On the positive side, the money FHA extorted from lenders in the mortgage settlement added about $1.1 billion, and higher-than-projected 2011-12 volumes, actual performance, and different-than-projected portfolio composition added about $3.8 billion. On the negative side, various model changes, especially in the loss severity model, took out about $11.0 billion; lower interest rate assumptions took out $8.4 billion; just slightly lower home price assumptions (beyond 2012) took out a surprisingly large $10.5.

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