Freddie Mac posted first-quarter net income of $4.6 billion Wednesday morning, up slightly from $4.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012 and the second largest profit in the enterprise's history.

It's the first quarter where earnings edged closer to the GSE's record profit of $5.7 billion from the third quarter of 2002.

No additional Treasury draws were needed in 1Q, Freddie Mac added.

Since conservatorship began, Freddie has paid aggregate cash dividends of $29.6 billion to the Treasury, including $5.8 billion in the most recent first quarter of 2013.

Freddie expects its dividend obligation to the Treasury to hit $7 billion in 2013.

At the end of March, Freddie's senior preferred stock outstanding and held by the Treasury remained at $72.3 billion.

The enterprise continues to fuel the recovering housing market. Since Jan. 1, 2009, Freddie Mac has provided a total of $1.9 trillion in liquidity to the mortgage market.

In that time frame, the firm enabled 6.7 million refinancings (including two million under its own relief refinancing initiative) and provided enough liquidity to support 1.6 million home purchases and 1.3 million units of multifamily rental housing.

Freddie Mac also helped more than 830,000 borrowers avoid foreclosure, the GSE said.

As the housing market improves, delinquency rates continue to fall, with the single-family serious delinquency rate reaching 3.03% in the latest quarter, while the multifamily delinquency rate came in at 0.16%.

Twelve percent of the GSE’s single-family credit guarantee portfolio is now made up of loans refinanced through the Home Affordable Refinance Program.  

kpanchuk@housingwire.com