Both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae released their March monthly volume summary reports this morning. Both GSEs saw only modest growth rates despite the lifting of their portfolio caps and the reduction in capital surcharge. This is not surprising given the credit losses, the need for capital preservation, and a growing guarantee business. 

After a 12.4% contraction in February, Freddie Mac's retained portfolio grew 5% in March to $712.5 billion from $709.5 billion. This was the first month this year to show portfolio growth. Year-to-date, the portfolio's growth rate is negative 4.6%.

The portfolio's increase came on a $6.6 billion increase in non-Freddie Mac agency MBS holdings and $2.4 billion in mortgage loans.  Partially offsetting the rise were declines of $2.3 billion in Freddie Mac MBS holdings and $3.8 billion in non-Freddie Mac non-agency MBS.

Fannie Mae, meanwhile, reported 2% growth to $722.8 billion in March from $721.6 billion  in February. Year-to-date, The GSE's retained portfolio growth is negative 0.7%. Fannie Mae's modest growth came on a $4.9 billion increase in mortgage loan holdings.

This was offset by a $2.7 billion decline in Fannie Mae MBS holdings and a $1.1 billion reduction in non-FNMA non-agency Holdings. Non-Fannie Mae agency MBS holdings were steady.

Freddie Mac reported total guaranteed PCs and structured securities issued reached  $43.5 billion, up slightly from $43 billion in February. After liquidations, issuance was $12.3 billion compared with $21.6 billion in the previous month.   

Total Fannie Mae MBS issuances in March were $50.1 billion, down from $69.4 billion in  February. After liquidations, the net issuance increase was $8.3 billion versus $42.4 billion previously.

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