Lenders originated $86.1 billion in Federal Housing Administration-insured single-family loans in the fourth quarter, up 21% year over year.

The FHA reported that 60%, or $51.8 billion of the endorsements in the quarter, involved home purchase loans.

FHA insurance-in-force grew by 24% on the year, to $752.6 billion, the agency said last week.

But the share of singe-family loans 90 days or more past due grew by 34%. The FHA closed the year with a 9.12% default rate, versus 6.82% at the end of 2008.

Housing officials are raising the FHA up-front mortgage insurance premium 50 basis points, to 2.25%, in April to cover rising claims and losses.

Foreclosures involving FHA-insured loans rose 41% year-over-year in the fourth quarter, to 20,650.

The use of short sales to avoid foreclosure rose 140%, to 2,925.

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