Freddie Mac acquired $42.36 billion in loans in August, a 12% increase from its July volume but a 32% decline from that of a year earlier.August was Freddie's fourth-best purchase month of the year. On a year-to-date basis, Freddie Mac had acquired $333.7 billion in mortgages. During the first eight months of last year, Freddie bought $362.2 billion. The loan purchases of Freddie Mac -- and its chief competitor, Fannie Mae -- tend to track originations in the primary market. When industry production drops, so do loan acquisitions by the government-sponsored enterprises. In August Freddie's retained portfolio totaled $706.9 billion, a slight decline from its level in July but a 4% gain from that of August 2005.

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