Are record-low interest rates masking high-cost mortgage lending?

Are record-low interest rates masking high-cost mortgage lending?

Five leading economists weigh in and the answer may surprise you

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Fannie Mae Sees Mortgage Portfolio Shrink; Delinquencies Continue Upward Trend

Fannie Mae saw its mortgage portfolio decline at an annualized 15.6 percent rate during November to $722 billion -- its smallest in six months -- the GSE said Friday in a statement. The portfolio decrease was offset at least in part by the highest level of Fannie-backed MBS issuances this year, at $62.5 billion in November. As a result, the GSE's total book of business grew at a 15.4 percent rate to $2.83 trillion. Fannie Mae reported a $1.39 billion loss for the third quarter in November as it said mortgage conditions had rapidly deteriorated, amid warnings for continued poor performance throughout 2008 and into 2009. One month later, it said it would raise $6 billion in capital through a preferred stock placement. Delinquencies continued to increase, jumping 5 additional basis points in October (the most recent period reported) to 0.83 percent of total loans outstanding; the number of serious delinquences in Fannie's portfolio has been increasing steadily since May, and is 21 basis points higher than one year ago. For more information, visit http://www.fanniemae.com.

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