FHA on pace for record year in backing mortgages

Nearly one in four U.S. home buyers acquiring a mortgage in the last year have chosen loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, the federal agency that is the world's largest insurer of home mortgages.

From Oct. 1 through mid-August, applications for FHA single-family-home mortgages were up 50%, to 2.52 million, from the same period a year earlier, according to a report Wednesday at USAToday.com. The rapid uptick in business for FHA means the agency is on track to record its busiest year.