Mortgage financier Freddie Mac said the principal balance of its retained portfolio fell to $716.9 billion at the end of January, down an annualized 6.5 percent from $720.8 billion in December.
Much of the decrease was related to the reduction of non-agency holdings, while total guaranteed PCs and Structured Securities issued increased at an annualized rate of 7.9 percent.
Freddie bought $13.52 billion mortgage bonds in January, nearly half the $27.4 billion mortgage bonds it purchased in December, but up from $9.4 billion in November.
The company’s total mortgage portfolio increased at an annualized rate of just 4.8 percent in January to $2.11 trillion, up from $1.84 trillion a year ago, but well below its annualized growth rate of 15.1 percent for all of 2007.
The rate of delinquencies on single-family loans guaranteed by Freddie Mac increased to 0.65 percent in December, up from 0.60 percent in November and 0.43 percent in January 2007.
Shares of Freddie Mac were down 29 cents, or 1.01%, to $28.46 in afternoon trading, still well short of their 52-week high of $68.12.
The company is expected to report its fourth quarter results on February 28, with some analysts anticipating a multi-billion dollar write-down.
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(photo: Dan Phiffer)