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Freddie Mac mortgage portfolio continues four-month decline

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The Freddie Mac (FRE) total mortgage portfolio decreased at an annualized rate of 5.2% in August after a 3.9% drop in June. The portfolio hasn't seen an increase since April. Mortgage purchases and issuance at the government-sponsored enterprise reached $29.1 billion in August, up from $28.4 billion in July and down 39% from last year. The year-to-date total has reached $236.5 billion. Single-family, refinance-loan purchase and guarantee volume increased to $21.2 billion in August from $18.1 billion in July. The aggregate unpaid principal balance of Freddie's mortgage-related investments decreased by $10.3 billion. The Freddie Mac delinquency rate fell for the fifth time in six months to 3.83% from 3.89% in July. It remains above the 3.24% rate in August 2009. The 90-day delinquency rate on fixed-rate mortgages stayed at 0.31% from last month. It increased 1 basis point on adjustable-rate mortgages to 1.25%. Freddie's 120-day delinquencies were also flat at 0.2% on FRMs, but dropped to 0.93% on ARMs from 0.98% in July. Write to Jon Prior.

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