Business at Fannie Mae was recovering mid-way through the summer, though the total value of its portfolio remains down nearly one-fifth, according to a press release on Thursday.

The government-sponsored purchaser of mortgages said its Book of Business grew at a compound annualized rate of 10.1% in July, helping the year-to-date figure improve to 6.1%. However, its total mortgage portfolio declined at an annualized rate of 18.2%. In July, the portfolio fell by 1.7%, the first dip in three months.

The Serious Delinquency Rate for conventional single-family home rose 26 basis points in June ― the latest data available ― to 3.94%, while serious delinquencies for multi-family units inched up 1 basis point to 0.51%.

The Effective Duration Gap on Fannie’s portfolio ― which measures sensitivity to interest rates ― averaged negative one month in July.

The news release follows an update from Fannie’s brother enterprise, Freddie Mac, on Tuesday. Freddie reported that its mortgage investment portfolio shrank at an annualized pace of 44.5% in July. Moreover, delinquencies on loans guaranteed by the smaller GSE accelerated.

In other news involving the government-sponsored enterprises, two regional Federal Reserve presidents said on Thursday that the central bank may not choose to buy up all of the $1.25 trillion in mortgage bonds that it is authorized to purchase. So far, the Fed has purchased close to $800 billion of such bonds to reduce home-finance costs and stimulate the housing market. 

Richmond Fed President Jeffery Lacker said further stimulus may not be needed. His comments were backed up by James Bullard of the St. Louis Fed, who said the purchases “might not be necessary.”

Bloomberg News quoted Lou Crandall, chief economist at Wrightson ICAP, to say that Lacker and Bullard may be “staking out a position rather than reflecting the current consensus on the Federal Open Market Committee.” He continued:  The FOMC “is going to be much more concerned about how they manage the phasing out of the mortgage program because the Fed is providing a substantial percentage of the investment in conforming home loan bonds.”