Fannie Mae is once again offering to pay 3.5% in closing costs for buyers of its repossessed homes, the number of which has nearly doubled in the past year.

The government-sponsored enterprise said Monday that buyers can use the incentive for purchases of Fannie-owned HomePath properties, which allow financing with as little as 3% down without mortgage insurance.

The program is available only for buyers who intend to live in the homes. Investors are excluded from the program and home sales must close by June 30.

Fannie had 162,489 REO properties at yearend, an 88% increase from a year earlier.

Fannie offered the same incentive to homebuyers twice last year.

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