October 4, 2013

Cover Story

CEO of the Year

Utah’s business landscape is rich with professionals who have le...Read More

Featured Articles

Did you go Skiing this winter?

Around Utah


Martin Plaehn

Karen Sendelback

Legal Briefs
Social Media and Employers: Friends or Enemies?

Money Talk
The Case for HSAs

Economic Insight
Time to Show Up

Lessons Learned
Make a Move

In the Lab

Rent to Own

Business Trends
Back from the Dead

Living Well
Artful Inspiration

A Breath of Fresh Air

Worst-Case Scenario

Regional Report
Northern Utah

Measure Up

Industry Outlook
Travel & Tourism



Federal Shutdown Should Have Little Effect on Utah Housing Market—For Now

By Heather Stewart

October 4, 2013

Many jittery home buyers and sellers fear the shutdown of the federal government may delay their closings. The Salt Lake Board of Realtors said the shutdown should not have a major impact on the mortgage loan process—other than to spook potential buyers.

“For buyers right now, it’s just a lot of uncertainty,” said Dave Frederickson, president of the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Veterans Affairs mortgage loan insurance programs make it possible for buyers to purchase a home with lower down payment requirements. These programs will continue to operate, although reduced staffing levels in those agencies may lead to delays, said Rex Rollo, CFO of America First Credit Union.

During the shutdown, the FHA will continue to endorse new loans for single-family home purchases, but will not make new commitments in its multi-family program, said Frederickson.

About 25 percent of new home loans are backed by the FHA.

America First is one of the state’s largest mortgage loan providers, with 6,750 such loans in 2012, second only to Wells Fargo in the Utah market for total loans. Rollo said the credit union is continuing to work with buyers to process mortgage loans.

“America First is a designated underwriter for FHA and VA,” said Rollo. This status allows the credit union to do most of the underwriting work in-house, rather than turn it over to FHA staff.

Partial shutdowns in other government agencies could also delay mortgage loan closings. The Internal Revenue Service, for example, will not be providing the tax transcripts that many lenders require in order to verify borrower income. And the Social Security Administration will not be able to verify borrower Social Security numbers, said Frederickson.

“Federal housing programs—like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA—do not require tax return verification,” said Frederickson. “Some lenders, like U.S. Bank, have already waived the tax return verification policy. Other lenders are directly selling loans to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Most home buyers who need a mortgage will be able to secure one, even during the government shutdown.”

Rollo fears the uncertainty surrounding the government shutdown may cause potential buyers to back away from the market. The turmoil “tends to take the excitement and the urgency out of the purchase,” he said.

But Frederickson said now is still a good time for buyers to shop for a home. “The interest rates are incredible, and the inventory is slowly growing again,” he said.

For most buyers, said Rollo, the shutdown will have little or no impact. “If this only goes on for a week, I don’t know that it’s going to be very significant,” he said. “The longer it continues, the more effect it’s going to have.”

He added, “I don’t think it’s going to stop the mortgage from closing. It’s just going to take it longer.”

“I’m not seeing a reason for concern for buyers or sellers right now,” said Frederickson. “It’s just business as usual.”


Utah Business Social
UB Events View All
Best Companies to Work For 2015Utah Business Event
Dec 10, 2015
Utah Business magazine is thrilled to announce the 2015 Best Companies to Work for Event! This y...
Community Events View All
Empowering Self and Others: Become and Awakener
Dec 1, 2015
Uncover the secrets of empowerment. Whether you are a parent, a teacher or a Coach, you’ll find ...
Secrets to Financing your Business
Dec 1, 2015
Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/december-1st-secrets-to-financing-your-business-tickets-19...

info@utahbusiness.com  |  90 South 400 West, Ste 650 Salt Lake City, Utah 84101   |  (801) 568-0114

Advertise with Utah Business

Submit an Event

* indicates required information
* Event Name:
Price (general):
Website (if applicable):
Coordinator's Name:
Coordinator's Email:
Coordinator's Phone:
Venue Name:
Venue Address:
Venue City:
Venue Zip:
Event Capacity:
* Event Description: