The amount of mortgages taxpayer-backed Fannie Mae financed in July nearly doubled from the same month last year, according to its monthly summary.

The government-sponsored enterprise purchased $81.9 billion in mortgages during the month, up from $43 billion one year ago and roughly even from the month before.

Fannie financed more than $494 billion in mortgages so far this year, already nearing last year's complete total of $575 billion, according to the report.

In the meantime, the GSE appears to be healing from the housing crash. Fannie reported a 3.5% severe delinquency rate on its mortgage portfolio, the lowest rate since April 2009.

As it heals, it continues to be the largest mortgage financier in the U.S. The mortgage giant issued nearly $73 billion in mortgage-backed securities on which it guarantees principal and interest payments on during July, more than double the same month last year.

Comparatively, Freddie Mac issued $34.6 billion in MBS in July.

And Ginnie Mae issued $32 billion in mortgage bonds composed mostly of Federal Housing Administration loans in the same month.

This kind of government reliance is exactly what both the Obama administration and the Mitt Romney campaign say they will try to wind down.

How they do it and what they replace the current mortgage finance system with remains largely unknown, but the Romney camp has signaled it would begin moving the government completely out of the system and return it to private investors.

Some Obama officials and other Democrats may pursue some form of government backstop, an option that many industry trade groups seek.

While reform remains on pause, the Treasury Department last week amended the conservatorship agreements and accelerated the wind down of the massive GSE portfolios.

Still, the growing number of government-backed mortgages in July signal that housing is coming back. And despite its reliance the agencies, mortgage bankers saw higher profits on the loans they wrote in the second quarter, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

jprior@housingwire.com