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GSEs’ Investment Portfolios Are Steadily Winding Down

cutting-moneyThe mortgage-related investment portfolios for both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue to contract and were both well below their 2015 portfolio cap, according to Urban Institute’s Housing Finance at a Glance: Monthly Chartbook for January 2016 released on Monday.

Fannie Mae’s mortgage-related investment portfolio totaled $353.5 billion as of the end of November while Freddie Mac’s portfolio was valued at $344.9 billion. The values of portfolios for both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mae fell well below the cap for 2015 of $399.18 billion and were higher than the 2016 cap, which is $339.3 billion, according to the Urban Institute.

“Both GSEs continue to reduce their portfolio size; relative to November 2014, Fannie contracted by 16.6 percent, and Freddie Mac by 14.2 percent,” the report stated. “They are shrinking their less liquid assets (mortgage loans and non-agency MBS) at a similar pace—or even more rapidly—than they are shrinking their entire portfolios.”

In November, Fannie Mae’s portfolio contracted at its highest rate for any one month of 2015, shrinking by 30.2 percent (about $11 billion) down to its most recently reported value of $353.5 billion. November marked the eighth straight month of contraction for Fannie Mae’s portfolio. The portfolio has expanded in only three months out of the last 64 since June 2010 (March 2015, January 2015, and December 2012). At the beginning of that stretch in June 2010, the portfolio's value was $818 billion. At the start of 2015, the portfolio's value was $414.8 billion.

Freddie Mae’s mortgage-related investment portfolio contracted in 10 of the first 11 months in 2015, including at rates of 35.8 percent in November and 37.8 percent in October. The only month in 2015 for which the portfolio expanded was March (at a rate of 4.2 percent). Like Fannie Mae, November 2015 marked the eighth straight month of decline for Freddie Mac’s mortgage-related investment portfolio down to its current value of $344.9 billion.

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About Author: Brian Honea

Brian Honea's writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master's degree from Amberton University in Garland.
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