Government-insured loans — primarily those backed by the Federal Housing Administration — accounted for about one in three mortgage applications in October, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported.

That’s a dramatic rise from one in 10 applications a year ago, the MBA said, and the biggest share of applications for FHA, VA and other government insured loans since February, 1991. The MBA cited lower down payment requirements and less strict underwriting standards for the loans as reasons for their popularity.

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