Volume 16 - Number 17
August 19, 2016
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Fannie Mae has re-claimed some lost market share in the prized first-time homebuyer market during the first half of 2016, according to a new Inside The GSEs analysis and ranking. Fannie securitized $41.70 billion of first-time buyer purchase loans in the first six months of this year. That represented 28.4 percent of the total FTHB business securitized by the three agencies, up from 27.8 percent for all of last year. Freddie Mac, however, is still playing catch-up. The GSE accounted for 17.0 percent of the agency FTHB market, compared to 17.8 percent in 2015. The top securitizer of first-timer loans remained Ginnie Mae, with a 54.6 percent share of the sector.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency raised the 2016 lending caps for multifamily by $1.5 billion this week. As momentum in the space continues to grow, the cap is now set at $36.5 billion each for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.The agency last raised the caps in May, from $31 billion to $35 billion. The current combined cap of $73 billion is already 22 percent more than the combined cap for all of 2015, which was $60 billion. This adjustment is based on growing estimates of the overall size of the 2016 multifamily finance market and part of FHFA’s plan to review the market quarterly.
Access to homeownership has been cut short for African-Americans who made up a smaller share of GSE-eligible loan originations over the past decade or so, according to the National Association of Real Estate Brokers.In a report released this week, the minority-based trade group analyzed data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, covering 2004-2014, and concluded that African-American families continue to lose ground in the mortgage market. The NAREB report said that mortgage loans given to African-American borrowers have a lower chance of being sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, compared with loans obtained by non-Hispanic white borrowers.
Freddie Mac recently formed a Manufactured Housing Initiative Task Force as the result of manufactured housing advocates pushing for greater support from the GSEs, especially in the form of chattel lending. The group met for the first time in late July in Reston, VA. The meeting came after a comment letter from the Manufactured Housing Institute on the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s duty-to-serve rule, which was followed by an invitation from MHI to discuss chattel loans at an MHI meeting in May. In December, the FHFA issued a proposed rule to implement the “duty-to-serve” provisions included in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.
Although the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s recent stress test results showing that the GSEs could need up to $125 billion in a severe economic crisis, quarterly earnings continue to show a profitability that cancels out the need for a bailout. Required annually by the Dodd-Frank Act, the test of severely adverse scenario is based on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac portfolios as of Dec. 31, 2015.
A personal relationship between Fannie Mae CEO Tim Mayopoulos and Heather Russell, the chief legal officer for Fifth Third Bancorp, caused the bank to terminate its top lawyer because of conflict of interest concerns. Both Mayopoulos and Russell are separated from their spouses, and both revealed the relationship to their respective companies. “Mr. Mayopoulos previously disclosed the relationship to Fannie Mae’s Office of Compliance and Ethics. The Office of Compliance and Ethics provided appropriate direction to Mr. Mayopoulos, and he followed it,” according to a spokesman for Fannie. “Further, Mr. Mayopoulos has no involvement in Fannie Mae’s relationship with Fifth Third Bank. Quite simply, there is no conflict of interest under Fannie Mae’s corporate policies,” said the spokesman.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency extended the response deadline on its “request for input” on the credit risk-transfer program. The response period will now close on Oct. 13, 2016, instead of Aug. 29. The FHFA extended it by 45 days because various industry stakeholders said they wanted more time to evaluate the information and questions raised in the RFI. Back in June, the FHFA asked for industry feedback on various aspects of its CRT program. Fannie Mae’s Connecticut Avenue Securities program and Freddie Mac’s Structured Agency Credit Risk program have accounted for the bulk of GSE risk-transfer activity since the program was launched three years ago.
Guaranty fees won’t be going lower anytime soon as the Federal Housing Finance Agency said it has no immediate plans to decrease the current level of fees charged. After more than doubling from 2011 to 2015, rising to 56 basis points, the FHFA said the fees adequately reflected the credit risk of new acquisitions.But industry groups argue the fees prevent qualified borrowers from entering the housing market and are passed on to borrowers in the form of up-front closing costs and/or as part of their monthly payments. Earlier this summer a coalition of housing groups wrote FHFA Director Mel Watt about reducing g-fees.
GSEs Offer Forbearance for Flood-Damaged Homes. With more than 40,000 homes hit by deadly flooding in Louisiana this week, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are offering temporary mortgage suspensions. Fannie Mae said servicers can grant forbearance of up to 90 days to borrowers they believe were impacted by the flood, whether they make contact with them or not. When they make contact, the servicer can offer up to six months of forbearance, which can then be extended with approval. Also, lenders must verify the condition of the property of loans originated and sold to the GSE. Freddie’s policy allows for forbearance and foreclosure suspension up to 12 months. Penalties and late fees against disaster-damaged homes are also waived.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury fell to all-time low of 1.34% recently. How much better will originations be at your shop in the second half compared to 1H, if at all?
- Better by 1% to 10%.
- Better by 11% to 25%.
- Off the charts better. Applications are great now.
- Worse than 1H, but not by much.
- A lot worse. But not sure on the damage.
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