Fannie Mae posted modest growth in its portfolio during February, despite growing delinquencies and growing capital pressures, with the retained portfolio reaching $721.6 billion, according to data provided by the company late Monday. The company's total book of business grew at an annualized 19 percent during the month.
Fannie, Freddie delinquencies
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Delinquencies, however, would appear to be the story of the day -- reaching levels not seen since the GSE first began providing monthly reports in 1997. Total single-family delinquencies 90 or more days past due ratcheted up to 1.06 percent of the number of outstanding loans in Fannie's substantial portfolio, up 8 basis points from December and 40 basis points from one year ago. Both Fannie and Freddie's deliquency numbers lag their portfolio reporting by one month, so this month's numbers cover delinquencies in January while the rest of the data covers February. Despite continuing concerns about escalating credit risk, Fannie issued the highest volume of MBS in at least one year during February. Fannie Mae MBS issuances totalled $69.3 billion during the month, up dramatically from just $49 billion recorded in January, driving a 21.4 percent growth rate in the securities. A look at Freddie Freddie Mac's retained portfolio, in contrast, shrank during February -- to the tune of a 12.4 percent annualized decrease. The GSE said its retained portfolio fell to $709.5 billion during the month, from $726.9 billion in January, according to a data sheet provided Tuesday morning. Nonetheless, the company's total book of business grew at a 12 percent clip in February, as the GSE also looked to pump up its issuances of MBS. Freddie said that it issued nearly $43 billion in MBS during the month, up dramatically from the paltry $29.4 billion issued during January. Delinquencies continued to increase at Freddie, as well. Total single-family loans more than 90 days in arrears reached 0.71 percent of all loans in January, up 6 basis points from December's reported total. Delinquency levels are now 28 basis points above where they were one year earlier. Both firms have been the subject of analyst attention recently. Housing Wire covered a recent UBS analyst report that suggests both GSEs, even with the additional capital recently made avaliable to them by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, will be unlikely to jump right into the MBS market and start buying securities. For more information, visit http://www.fanniemae.com and http://www.freddiemac.com.