The serious delinquency rate on Federal Housing Administration loans rose a full percentage point over four months to 9.3% in November.

The November "FHA Single-Family Outlook" report shows that 689,350 FHA-insured loans were 90 days or more past due, compared with 589,900 in July, when the rate of serious delinquencies was 8.3%. So far the FHA's stubbornly high delinquency rates have been blamed mostly on so-called legacy loans originated during the last years of the housing boom (2006-8).

But now officials are acknowledging the natural "seasoning" of the "massive" fiscal 2009 and fiscal 2010 books of business is affecting delinquency rates - along with a slowdown in FHA lending.

"That juxtaposition will, by itself, lead to higher reported delinquency rates for a couple of years," an FHA official said.

"The 2009 and 2010 cohorts are performing very well at this stage of their seasoning, when compared with the 2007 and 2008 vintages. There is no evidence of a return to the weakness seen in those books," the official said.

FHA loan endorsements in fiscal 2009 and 2010 hit highs of $330 billion and $298 billion respectfully. Endorsements slowed to $218 billion in fiscal 2011, which ended Sept. 30.

In the first quarter of fiscal 2011 the FHA endorsed $72 billion in single-family loans, compared with $45.6 billion in the fourth quarter.

Lenders originated $15.8 billion in FHA-insured loans in November, including $5.1 billion in refinancings.

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