Prepayment rates for 30-year Fannie Mae mortgage-backed securities decreased in January, while 30-year Freddie Mac MBS speeds declined even more sharply, according to Bear Stearns.For Fannie 30-year MBS issues, the aggregate prepayment rate decreased by over 21% in January, compared with a decrease of almost 30% for Freddie Mac issues, Bear Stearns analyst Dale Westhoff reported. "Given that mortgage rates were almost seasonally unchanged from December to January, the bulk of the decline in prepayments can be attributed to seasonal declines in housing turnover activity and the reduced refinancing application activity during the Christmas/New-Year holiday season," Mr. Westhoff said. Meanwhile, Ginnie Mae speeds "slowed less than their conventional counterparts in January." Bear Stearns can be found online at http://www.bearstearns.com.

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