Unlike Freddie Mac, which experienced a 56% contraction to $760.9 billion in its retained portfolio in August, Fannie Mae's actually rose 3% to $759.98 billion. Net retained purchases totaled $13.6 billion compared to Freddie Mac's $15.4 billion decline. 

The increase came on a $5.5 billion increase in mortgage Loan holdings, offset partially by declines of $2.1 and $1.3 billion in FNMA MBS and non-FNMA non agency MBS holdings.     

Other details in Fannie Mae's monthly volume summary include total MBS issuance was $32.1 billion in August compared with $36.6 billion in July.  After liquidations, issuance was $7.2 billion versus $8.8 billion. The GSE also reported a 4.4% annualized increase in the total mortgage portfolio in August from 3.5% in July. Year-to-date growth is 8.9%. Total delinquencies rose nine basis points to 145 basis points in July, and is up 77 basis points from June 2007. Meanwhile, the firm's effective duration gap was two months, down from one month in July.

In early September, the government took over the GSEs and said that it would be buying MBS.  In an update last week before the House Financial Services Committee, Fannie Mae CEO Herbert Allison noted that in the three weeks following the takeover, the agency securitized about $31 billion in single-family mortgages, similar to the same period in August.

He also said that Fannie Mae raised $7 billion in a two-year benchmark note that allowed it to make additional mortgage purchases to support the market. Allison added that the GSE would be increasing MBS purchases to bolster market liquidity.

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