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Business Grows for Second Month at Freddie Mac

FreddieFreddie Mac's [1] mortgage portfolio grew for another month in October, expanding at a faster rate even as new business declined from the month prior.

According to Freddie Mac's monthly volume summary [2], released Tuesday, the mortgage giant's total loan portfolio grew last month at an annualized rate of 2.5 percent, the highest growth rate since March 2013.

As of the end of October, the portfolio's value was estimated at $1.9 trillion, up nearly $4 billion from September.

October marked the second straight month of growth for the portfolio, which has contracted for seven of 2014's first 10 months. Year-to-date, the portfolio has shrunk at an average annualized rate of 0.8 percent.

Purchases or issuances at Freddie Mac totaled $28.8 billion for the month, a decrease of 3.1 percent from September but an increase of nearly 29 percent from the same month last year. That decline was offset by a drop in sales and liquidations, which subtract from the portfolio.

The aggregate value of Freddie's portfolio of mortgage-related investments fell $6.1 billion throughout October, putting it at a total balance of $406.8 billion, the company reported. Both purchases and sales were down for the month, while liquidations rose slightly.

Freddie Mac's single-family refinance purchase and guarantee volume came to $11.8 billion in October, accounting for 47 percent of its total single-family mortgage portfolio business. Relief refinances made up 17 percent of refinance volumes based on unpaid principal balance.

In other news from the summary: Freddie's single-family seriously delinquent rate continued to improve, falling 5 basis points to 1.91 percent, the biggest one-month drop since July. The multifamily delinquency rate was steady for a second month at 0.03 percent.

Freddie Mac completed 5,125 loan modifications in October, bringing the year-to-date total to 57,263.