Quarterly mortgage-backed securities issuance fell -- though it was better than a year ago.
Mortgage-related issuance of $468.9 billion in the first quarter fell 9 percent from the prior quarter, the Bond Market Association reported. But activity was 14 percent higher than in the first three-month period of 2005.
The year-over-year growth was largely the result of "continued strength of the housing sector in the first quarter and a flat yield curve environment which provided an incentive to refinance from adjustable- to fixed-rate mortgages," the trade group said.
Looking ahead, the association said the volume of mortgage-related securities "will be largely dependent on the direction of mortgage rates, housing price levels and the pace of housing sales throughout the rest of the year."