(Adds details from survey)
NEW YORK, Dec 31 (Reuters) - U.S. mortgage-backed securities issuance jumped in 2009 as investors’ appetite for risk improved amid signs of stabilization in the housing market, a keenly watched survey showed on Thursday.
Thomson Reuters said U.S. mortgage-backed securities issuance totaled $291.5 billion in 2009, up from $193.0 billion in the same period a year earlier, a rise of 51 percent.
However, 2008 ranked as the slowest year for new U.S. MBS issuance since 2000, said Matthew Toole, an analyst in the deals group at Thomson Reuters.
Nearly 89 percent of all U.S. MBS this year were backed by government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae, he said.
“However, in a sign of shifting market dynamics, December 2009 saw the first non-agency commercial mortgage securitizations since August 2008,” he said.
Issuance of bonds backed by companies other than Fannie Mae FNM.P FNM.N and Freddie Mac FRE.P FRE.N has virtually come to a halt as investors refuse to buy securities backed by loans where payments are not guaranteed.
Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) was the top underwriter of U.S. mortgage-backed securities in 2009, the survey showed.
It underwrote 63 issues of mortgage-backed bonds, totaling nearly $51 billion, a 17.5 percent market share.
Goldman Sachs & Co (GS.N) ranked second among U.S. MBS underwriters in 2009, with a 13.7 percent market share. The bank underwrote 32 issues totaling $39.8 billion.
Barclays Capital, the investment banking arm of UK lender Barclays (BARC.L), ranked third, with a 13.6 percent market share. The firm underwrote 32 issues worth $39.6 billion.
Rankings for the fourth quarter differed slightly.
Bank of America was the top underwriter of U.S. mortgage-backed securities in the fourth quarter, the survey showed. It underwrote 16 issues of mortgage-backed bonds, totaling nearly $10.3 billion, a 15.8 percent market share.
Goldman Sachs ranked second in the fourth quarter, with a 12.2 percent market share, having underwritten 7 issues totaling $8.0 billion.
Credit Suisse (CS.N) CSGN.VX ranked third, with a 11.5 percent market share. The Swiss-based bank underwrote 11 issues worth $7.4 billion.
Originators have shifted supply to the agency MBS market. The agency MBS market has overwhelmingly captured the lion’s share of issuance in 2007, 2008 and 2009, with non-agency mortgage origination virtually nonexistent as buyers fled the sector amid growing concerns about mortgage foreclosures.
Thomson Reuters tracks mortgage bonds backed by whole commercial and residential real estate loans as well as the mortgage-backed securities initially packaged by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae. Interest-only and principal-only strips of the so-called agencies are not tracked.
Editing by Chizu Nomiyama