Fannie Mae issued $50.9 billion in mortgage-backed securities in May, helping drive growth in the mortgage purchaser’s guarantees at an annualized rate of 18.7 percent for the month.

Total Fannie Mae MBS and other guarantees totaled $2.19 trillion at the end of May, an annual growth rate of 11.3 percent for the year, the company said. That compares with a 7.2 percent rate of growth in 2006.

The company’s mortgage portfolio also saw strong growth in May, to $718.3 billion. The 13.8 percent annualized rate of growth for the month compares with 2 percent for the year-to-date and .4 percent in 2006.

Growth in Fannie Mae’s mortgage portfolio was capped under a May 2006 consent order. The company estimates that its mortgage portfolio for purposes of the consent order totaled $713 billion at the end of the month.

Growth in the overall mortgage market has slowed to levels not seen in a decade, Fannie Mae reported. The 5.6 percent annualized rate of growth in total residential debt outstanding for the quarter was the slowest since 1997. Seasonal factors were “exacerbated by a deteriorating housing market,” the company said.

Adjustable-rate mortgages made up just 18.1 percent of conventional mortgage applications in May, the lowest share since July 2003, the company reported. The decline was attributed to borrowers refinancing out of ARM loans into fixed-rate mortgages.

The serious delinquency rate on single-family loans in the portfolio in April remained unchanged from the previous month at .62 percent — two basis points lower than a year ago.

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