Freddie Mac purchased $49.7 billion of mortgages from its seller/servicers in December, its best purchase month of the year and a sign that loan production remained strong in the fourth quarter.

For the full year, the government controlled secondary market giant acquired $411.8 billion of residential loans, a 25% decline from 2009. (Dollar-wise, mortgage bankers funded 18% fewer loans in 2010 than the year before, according to preliminary figures compiled by National Mortgage News (NMN).)

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