The Trump Administration issued a blueprint on Thursday, September 5 for getting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac out of conservatorship. This is important to REALTORS® because the secondary mortgage market impacts the cost and availability of credit for your clients. The most important thing to take away from the release of this plan is that it will NOT impact the housing market in the short-term. This is simply the first step in a long process and one that NAR will be a part of every step of the way. Read below for an NAR press release on the plan and talking points if you get questions from your clients.
WASHINGTON (September 5, 2019) – National Association of Realtors® President John Smaby issued the following statement commending the Trump administration for its efforts to reform America’s housing finance system. The White House this afternoon released a proposal to reform operations of the Government Sponsored Enterprises and the Department of Housing and Urban Development that it had been working towards since the President made the issue a top priority earlier this year.
“The National Association of Realtors® thanks President Trump and his administration for initiating thoughtful, genuine effort toward housing finance reform. We look forward to reviewing the proposal in more detail and are optimistic that, at a minimum, the White House’s efforts will shed light on the remaining mile markers on the path to reform, along with the critical role the GSEs and Federal Housing Administration play in America’s housing market,” said Smaby, a second-generation Realtor® and broker at Edina Realty in Edina, Minnesota.
“NAR continues working with the White House and Congress as we move closer to securing palatable, pragmatic improvements to our housing finance system, and we maintain our belief that NAR’s blueprint for GSE reform represents the best path forward for this system and our economy. Our proposed utility model, as any successful reforms must, highlights competition, protects taxpayers and remedies the failures of the pre-crisis system while ensuring equal access for responsible, mortgage-ready Americans in every market, safeguarding the role the GSEs were intended to play in our housing market.”
The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
GSE Reform Talking Points
- The Trump Administration has released a blueprint for getting the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, out of conservatorship and for modernizing the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
- The plan involves potential administrative, regulatory, and legislative changes-and it’s the start of a process we expect to take several years.
- The administration’s plan won’t have any effect on housing markets in the short term.
- NAR has been in direct meetings with the administration and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees the GSEs, and we will continue to play an active role in the process.
- We applaud the movement forward on getting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac out of conservatorship, and we’ll be looking for areas of collaboration with the administration and with Congress. But we’ll also share concerns if we see provisions that have the potential to negatively impact housing markets.
- Potential areas of concern will be in capital requirements for the GSEs (increases will raise borrowing costs); guidelines for second and vacation homes; and underwriting requirements with the expiration of the so-called QM patch in January 2021.
Why you should care
- Reforms to FHA and the secondary mortgage market have the potential to affect both the availability and the cost of mortgage credit for your clients.
- Since 2008, as a consequence of the mortgage market meltdown, secondary-mortgage market giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (“the GSEs”) -have been under the conservatorship of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). During the Great Recession, conventional lending guidelines grew extremely tight, and FHA became a much more critical source of housing finance.
- In the years that followed Treasury’s takeover of the GSEs, FHA’s share of the market has decreased, and Fannie and Freddie have returned to profitability, though their “profits” go straight into the U.S. Treasury.
- There have been many proposals over the years on the future of the GSEs. NAR released its own plan in February, and the plan has garnered the support of many industry groups. We’ll continue to promote our plan, which brings together the best of the public and private model in good times and bad.