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I’m heading out in the morning for a little vacation and so the blog will be quiet for a few days. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with one more piece from the numbers I posted earlier this week from MDA DataQuick:

We’ve been tracking how many of the current home sales in San Diego County are financed with FHA loans, and that percentage keeps growing.

In August, FHA financed 28.2 percent of the homes bought using mortgages. In the same month in 2007, a tiny 0.8 percent of the homes bought with loans were FHA-financed.

In September, 28.8 percent of the homes bought with loans were financed with FHA.

This week’s numbers were for October, and 29.7 percent of the homes bought last month were financed with FHA loans.

Why does this matter?

The Federal Housing Administration is coming under increased scrutiny for the sustainability of its attempts to fill in the lending gaps left by the skittish private banking sector. Last week, an audit of the agency revealed it has fallen far below the minimum level of cash reserves the federal government requires it to have. (More on that announcement here.)

Because such a big chunk of San Diego County transactions use FHA loans, changes at the agency could dramatically affect the local market. Though no specific changes have been announced, some analysts have warned the agency could follow the lead of other big players in the mortgage sector — implementing more requirements for borrowers like higher down payments, for example. If the federal government does make the loans more difficult to get, then a significant percentage of local buyers will face new hurdles to getting a home, potentially changing the face of demand

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this growing share — leave a comment below (head to Survival if you’re not there already). I’ll be back after Thanksgiving. Enjoy your holiday.

KELLY BENNETT

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