Loan purchases by Fannie Mae fell to $55.57 billion in July, the mortgage giant's worst showing since February, according to figures released by the company.Compared to the same month a year ago loan purchases fell by 61%. However, Fannie's portfolio grew 2.1% (annualized) in July to $893 billion as rising rates slowed prepayment speeds. Fannie, like most participants in the mortgage market, is suffering from a slowdown in production -- in particular refinancings -- which limits the amount of mortgages it can purchase in the secondary market. However, the production slowdown is allowing the company to continue growth in its balance sheet. July marks the second month in a row that Fannie grew its portfolio. The previous eight months the GSE suffered portfolio declines.

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