DEC 2, 2013 12:06pm ET

Fannie’s Loan Purchases Drop for Third Straight Month

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Mortgage purchases by Fannie Mae fell 12% in October following an 18% decline in September as refinancing activity continues to slow down.

The secondary market agency reported late Friday that it purchased $49 billion in mortgages from its approved lenders in October. It is the lowest level of purchases since August 2011.

Surprisingly, commitments to purchase new mortgages rose for the second consecutive month, which could indicate an increase in home purchase lending.

Fannie reported that loan commitments rose 4% from September to $55.5 billion in October.

In the third quarter, Fannie acquired $69.5 billion in home purchase mortgages, up from $52.5 billion in second quarter, according to the company’s recent third-quarter securities filing.

The serious delinquency rate on Fannie's guaranteed single-family portfolio continued its multiyear decline.

The percentage of loans 90 days or more past due fell seven basis points from September to 2.48% in October. Fannie’s serious delinquency rate peaked at 5.6% back in February 2010.

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