Reversing a two-year trend, 50 state housing finance agencies recorded a 4% increase in aggregate-total assets in fiscal year 2005, rising from $116 billion to $121 billion, according to Fitch Ratings.In an updated report on HFA finances, Fitch said the agencies' total debt increased 3%, from $90 billion in 2004 to $93 billion in 2005. Fitch attributed the increases to higher mortgage rates and "widening spread between the conventional and tax-exempt bond rates, causing an increased demand for the SHFA mortgage product." The rating agency can be found online at http://www.fitchratings.com.

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