Effective immediately, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will no longer require two appraisals on higher-balance loans for properties located in declining markets.

The two-appraisal mandate  (both were required prior to an underwriting decision) was put into place at the peak of the housing crisis. But "we haven't noticed any benefit" from the rule, "and it really slowed down the process," FHA Commissioner David Stevens told Mortgage Wire at the National Association of Realtors' (NAR) convention in San Diego, where he announced the policy change over the weekend.

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