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Prices of mortgage homes up 7%

The average prices of one- to four-family homes whose purchases were financed by privately insured mortgage loans rose 7.5 percent, to $55,811, during the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $51,896 for the same quarter of 1979, the Mortgage Insurance Companies of America said. It said this is another significant statistic that verifies the increasing need to make housing more affordable.

Its member companies insure the top 20 or 25 percent of a conventional mortgage against default, enabling lenders to require lower (often as little as 5 percent) down payments. During the fourth quarter, member companies insured 126,601 new mortgages, down slightly from 129,514 during the fourth quarter a year ago.

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Comparable 12-month figures show that private mortgage insurers insured 392, 808 new mortgages in 1980, down 32 percent from 578,038 for 1979. The level of insured mortgages for FHA and VA also dropped significantly, with declines of 19 .7 perce nt and 25.2 percent respectively.

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