Freddie Mac's total mortgage portfolio increased at an annualized rate of 2.8 percent in February, marking the fifth time the portfolio has expanded in the last six months, while the serious delinquency rate for the Enterprise's single-family residential loans continued its steady decline, according to the Freddie Mac's February 2015 Monthly Volume Summary released Tuesday.
The portfolio's February expansion represented an increase of about $5 billion, up to $1.913 trillion. It was only the 13th time in the last 62 months that the portfolio has expanded dating back to January 2010, at the height of the foreclosure wave.
The serious delinquency rate on loans declined by 5 basis points, down to 1.81 percent, which is less than half of the national rate, according to CoreLogic's January 2015 National Foreclosure Report. It is the lowest serious delinquency rate for loans backed by Freddie Mac since December 2008, just a few months after the housing crisis began and just three months after the FHFA took Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under conservatorship. For that month, the serious delinquency rate was 1.72 percent but was on the rise; it was 1.52 percent a month earlier.
Single-family refinance loan purchase and guarantee volume skyrocketed in February up to $20.2 billion, up from $12.4 billion in January. The percentage of single-family refinance loan purchase and guarantee volume that comprised the total single-family mortgage portfolio also experienced a large month-over-month increase from 57 percent in January to 66 percent in February. According to Freddie Mac, 9 percent of the Enterprise's total single-family refinance volume in February was comprised of relief refinance mortgages, down from 14 percent in January.
The number of homeowners who received permanent loan modifications was little changed from January (4,793) to February (4,684), with 9.477 permanent loan modifications completed in the first two months of 2015 combined. An average of 5,596 permanent loan mods were completed per month in 2014.
Also in February's Monthly Volume Summary, Freddie Mac reported that the aggregate unpaid principal balance (UPB) of the Enterprise's mortgage-related investments portfolio declined month-over-month by about $3.2 billion. Since the previous monthly volume summary was issued, Freddie Mac auctioned off three pools of deeply delinquent loans with an aggregate UPB of $392 million and was reported to have put another group of deeply delinquent loans with a UPP of $1 billion up for sale.