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Obama Said to Cut FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums

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In an effort to expand homeownership among lower-income buyers, President Barack Obama plans to cut mortgage-insurance premiums charged by a government agency.

The annual fees the Federal Housing Administration charges to guarantee mortgages will be cut by 0.5 percentage point, to 0.85 percent of the loan balance, Julian Castro, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said today during a conference call with reporters. Under the new premium structure, FHA estimates that 2 million borrowers will be able to save an average of $900 annually over the next three years if they purchase or refinance homes.