Despite the slowdown in the housing market, 2006 is shaping up to be a very good year for the mortgage market and Freddie Mac, according to the company's chairman and chief executive officer, Richard Syron."I am concerned about the housing market," Mr. Syron told investors at a Lehman Brothers conference. He said the market is entering a "tumultuous" period with the dramatic falloff in price appreciation in the second quarter and buyers facing affordability problems. However, Freddie has not noticed any significant impact on its business, according to Mr. Syron. "I still expect 2006 will be the third-best year for the mortgage market," he said. The CEO also noted that Freddie continues to increase its investments in highly rated variable-rate mortgage securities, which made up 40% of its retained portfolio at the end of June. "These purchases are essential to meeting our housing goals, and they also provide good financial returns," Mr. Syron said. Freddie Mac can be found online at http://www.freddiemac.com.

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