Federal Housing Administration endorsements of condominium loans surged to 5,000 units in August, a 20% spike form the month prior, according to new figures released by the agency.

In June the government mortgage insurer endorsed 3,700 condo loans.

Last month FHA issued a mortgagee letter, relaxing its condominium building approval policies, allowing more units to qualify for FHA financing. While some trade groups were hoping FHA would be bolder in revising its condo rules, the new standards are now in effect.

Overall, lenders and Realtors are hoping these changes will give the beleaguered condo market a shot in the arm.  

The new report shows that FHA endorsed $22.1 billion of forward mortgages in August, up nearly 13% from the prior month and 38% from a year ago. Refinancings comprised over 40% of FHA endorsements.

Applications for streamline refinancings remained strong in July as more existing FHA borrowers sought to refinance their high interest rate loans.

The agency reported that lenders took in 72,060 streamline refi applications in August, down 9% from the month prior, but up more than 200% from a year ago.

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