Mortgage giant Freddie Mac financed more than 5.5 million houses or approximately one every six seconds last year, the McLean, Va., mortgage giant reported today.

Approximately 51 percent of the corporation’s purchases served low- and moderate-income families. That figure exceeded the affordable housing goals established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to Freddie Mac. The corporate has met or exceeded those goals every year since the goals were set in 1996.

Freddie Mac Chairman and CEO Richard F. Syron said 2003 was “a great year for America’s families.”

“Freddie Mac products and technology combined with historically low mortgage rates enabled millions of families to refinance their mortgages and reduce their mortgage payments, adding more than $1.6 billion to the economy,” he said in a statement.

Freddie Mac said it purchased more than $106 billion of mortgages made to minority households last year.

Freddie Mac is a stockholder-owned corporation that Congress chartered in 1970 to create a continuous flow of funds to mortgage lenders.

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