UPDATE 2-Fannie Mae Jan portfolio down; delinquencies jump

Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:07pm EST

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By Julie Haviv

NEW YORK Feb 27 (Reuters) - Fannie Mae FNM.P FNM.N, the largest U.S. home funding company, on Friday said its mortgage portfolio declined in January, while delinquencies on loans it guarantees accelerated in the previous month.

The delinquency rate on conventional single-family mortgages jumped 0.29 percentage point in December -- the most recent data available -- to 2.42 percent, the company said in its January monthly summary.

The delinquency rate in January 2008 had been 1.06 percent.

The delinquency rate on multifamily mortgages rose 0.05 percentage point in December to 0.30 percent, up from 0.10 percent in January 2008.

Fannie Mae, based in Washington, D.C., said its mortgage portfolio declined at a 2.6 percent annualized rate in January to $785.5 billion.

New issues of Fannie Mae mortgage-backed securities rose to $21.2 billion in January from $37.1 billion in December, Fannie Mae said.

Freddie Mac FRE.P FRE.N, the second-largest U.S. home funding company, on Wednesday had reported that delinquencies on loans it guarantees accelerated as it suspended foreclosures.

Total delinquencies jumped 0.26 percentage points last month to 1.98 percent, nearly three times that of a year earlier, according to data on the company's website.

The McLean, Virginia-based company said in its January monthly volume summary that its mortgage portfolio declined at an 8.7 percent annualized pace in January to $798.9 billion.

President Barack Obama last week announced a housing rescue plan that heavily relies on government-controlled Freddie Mac Fannie Mae to stabilize the housing market, which is in its worst downturn since the Great Depression.

Under the plan, the companies can expand their portfolios to $900 billion, from a previous cap of $850 billion, in 2009. The government also doubled its capital pledge for each of the companies to $200 billion. (Additional Reporting by Al Yoon; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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