The Federal Housing Administration says it will implement a new approval process for condo financing on Dec. 7 - the second time the deadlines have been pushed back. The delay also brings a relaxation of new rules, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, which has been negotiating with FHA.

Under the latest iteration of the rules, 50 percent of units in a condo project will be eligible for FHA funding and up to 100 percent will be eligible in well-established projects with a minimum of 10 percent reserves. Half of the units will have to be sold to owner-occupants before FHA will back any loans.

In an important move, FHA said it wouldn't require the recertification of some 40,000 projects that have already been certified for FHA financing.

If what the MBA says is the deal, it's essentially a nonevent, said mortgage banker Faramarz Moeen-Ziai.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development confirmed a delay in implementation but wouldn't comment on the changes the MBA says FHA has agreed to.

[Editor's note: FHA Commissioner David Stevens talks about the new condo rules and other FHA issues, including appraisal guidelines and the agency's credit performance, in an interview with REALTOR® Magazine. Listen to excerpts in a blog post on the interview.]

Source: Inman News, Matt Carter (11/05/2009)