Biden administration touts first-time homebuyers helped by FHA programs in new report

The Federal Housing Administration says it helped 765,000 homeowners overall, including more than 33,000 seniors, get access to mortgage credit in the past year.

A home for sale in San Marino, Calif., on Sept. 6. Frederic J. Brown / AFP via Getty Images file Nov. 15, 2023, 3:00 PM UTC

WASHINGTON — The Department of Housing and Urban Development is highlighting homeownership figures for first-time homebuyers in an annual report from the Federal Housing Administration released Wednesday.

The FHA helped more than 478,000 first-time homebuyers obtain mortgage insurance during fiscal year 2023, according to the report submitted to Congress.

“The President and I share the belief that enabling wealth-opportunities — like homeownership for underserved borrowers — helps us all,” HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge said in a statement. “In 2023, HUD delivered on this mission, building a fairer, more inclusive, and stronger country by bringing nearly half a million new homebuyers into the fold.”

Overall, the FHA helped 765,000 homeowners, including more than 33,000 seniors, get access to mortgage credit in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.

FHA mortgages are designed for low- and middle-income homebuyers and require lower down payments that allow for more flexibility on credit requirements than conventional mortgage loans.

The Biden administration on Oct. 16 announced new efforts to support homeownership, including awarding loans to tribal communities and supporting veterans behind on their mortgage loans, as well as releasing data to show how the funds from the American Rescue Plan are supporting homeowners at risk of foreclosure.

Still, the number of mortgages the FHA helped facilitate for both first-time homeowners and repeat buyers was the fewest since 2007. A spokesperson for HUD, which oversees the FHA, said the figure was attributable to the housing market volume’s shrinking.

The report also pointed to a slew of challenges HUD faced over the past fiscal year, including the rising cost of homes and low housing supply.

“Despite numerous challenges in the mortgage and housing markets, FHA continued to facilitate the availability of financing for first-time homebuyers, borrowers of color, and others traditionally underserved by the conventional mortgage market,” the 135-page report said.

The report also noted that the average age of first-time homebuyers held steady at 38. The average age has hovered around 37 and 38 since 2015.

Megan Lebowitz

Megan Lebowitz is a politics reporter for NBC News.

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