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Fannie Mae issuance drops to lowest level since January 2009

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Fannie Mae issued $34.5 billion in guaranteed mortgage-backed securities in April, down from $54 billion one month ago and the lowest level since January 2009, when the government-sponsored enterprise issued $21 billion. The highest level since then was at $130 billion in June 2009. Not only did the secondary market see a slower pace in April, but pending home sales on the origination side showed a significant drop as well. Fannie also cut its mortgage portfolio for the 10th straight month in April, as its gross mortgage portfolio declined at a compound annualized rate of 15.8% in April. Under the conservatorship agreements issued in September 2008, Fannie and Freddie Mac must cut their mortgage portfolios to less than $729 billion by Dec. 31. Freddie Mac is already there, dropping to $692 billion early in 2011. Although Fannie has been making cuts since July, it remains above the threshold at $748.8 billion as of April. Federal Housing Finance Agency Acting Director Edward DeMarco, the chief regulator for the GSEs, said in a House subcommittee hearing Wednesday that Fannie is expected to be below the limit by the end of the year. The last time Fannie added to the portfolio was in June when the gross mortgage portfolio increased to $817.8 billion. In April, the serious delinquency rate on Fannie Mae mortgages dropped to 4.27%, down 17 basis points and the lowest level since July 2009. In February 2010, the serious delinquency rate increased to 5.59% and has dropped every month since. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.

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