Fresno Bee Newsroom Blog

Real Estate: Will the government shutdown affect housing?

Questions are floating around on whether the federal government shutdown will affect the housing market which has made big gains on the road to recovery this year.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said at the end of last week that it would stop working on loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration in the event of a shutdown.

Then the department changed its mind. Early this week, HUD said “the Office of Single Family Housing will endorse new loans under current multi-year appropriation authority in order to support the health and stability of the U.S. mortgage market.”

So, for now, it seems like FHA loans and those administered by the Veteran’s Administration will be available to homebuyers.

“We’re in good shape,” said John Shamshoian, president of the Fresno Association of Realtors and owner of Realty Concepts in Fresno. “There is no effect.”

But the department has admitted that the response time for approving loans could be slower than normal because of a limited staff of underwriters. Most employees are on furlough.

“A shutdown lasting a few days should only slightly inconvenience our operation in processing loans,” said Lisa Sasaki, sales manager at Academy Mortgage in Fresno. “However, a longer delay would have more serious impacts.”

Have you had any problems closing a loan this week or applying for one?

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