FHA Is Having Busiest Year Ever

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FHA Is Having Busiest Year Ever

About 25 percent of all new mortgages are backed by the Federal Housing Administration in what will probably be the busiest year yet for the federal agency.

Applications for FHA mortgages rose 50 percent from last October through mid-August 2009 and approvals for purchases, refinancings, and reverse mortgages rose 70 percent to 1.67 million.

FHA loans "are one of the most important sources in this market," says Mark Zandi of Moody's Economy.com. "Without FHA, the housing slide would be much more severe. We wouldn't be talking about a recovery now. We'd still be talking about a crash."

Some analysts are concerned about the risk the FHA has taken on, but others point out that borrowers with FHA-insured loans now have an average credit score of 690, compared to 630 two years ago. Borrowers with a credit score below 500 must come up with a 10 percent down payment.

Source: USA Today, Stephanie Armour (09/02/2009)

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