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Fannie Business Continues Decline

March 15, 2004

$53.1 billion February business volume; may pickup in second quarter

By staff

Slightly off the prior month's level, business volume continued to descend for one of the nation's secondary mortgage lenders. However, given the bright industry outlook from its own economists, activity may pick up in the next quarter.

According to its latest monthly summary, Fannie Mae's business volume last month totaled $50.8 billion, dropping from January's $53.1 billion. The total has declined each month since September, and is more than half off last February's total of $106.1 billion.

Mortgage backed securities (MBS) acquired by others of $38.6 billion and portfolio purchases -- which were up 42% from the prior month -- of $12.2 billion made up February's business volume, said the government sponsored enterprise.

The mortgage giant averaged the duration gap on its mortgage portfolio at a negative one month, unchanged for the fourth consecutive month.

The conventional single-family delinquency rate -- reported on a one month lag -- rose one basis point from the prior month to 0.61% in January, while the multifamily delinquency rate fell three basis points to 0.24%, said Fannie.

Fannie's own economists recently increased their projections for 2004 industry production. Given this more favorable outlook, business purchases for the behemoth organization -- which lag industry originations -- should pick up in the second quarter or later.


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