Annaly Capital Management Inc. (NLY), the largest real-estate investment trust, says if President Obama is re-elected, housing policies will become more assertive, including refinancing efforts among borrowers with government-backed loans, according to Bloomberg.
In regards to government-backed mortgage securities, which is a $5.2 trillion market, there are various implications for investors. One of those being the possibility of a new overseer for government-sponsored enterprises, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
Obama administration officials have announced that director Edward DeMarco of the Federal Housing Finance Agency will be replaced if the president is re-elected as a result of DeMarco's decision not to allow the GSEs to cut balances for borrowers.
More than 618,000 of the GSEs loans to borrowers with little to no home equity were able to obtain refinancing after the second installment of the Federal Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP 2.0, went into effect. This is compared to 400,024 a year prior, reports the FHFA.
President Gary Kain of American Capital Agency Corp. (AGNC) doesn't expect the refinancing policy to change post election.
"We feel more comfortable right now than we have in ages with respect to policy risk," he said. "And we feel like we know the landscape that we're facing and we think that the moving parts at this point are going to be very marginal relative to some of the things we've seen in the past."
Obama may also permit borrowers to keep low-rate mortgages or transfer to homebuyers in order to slow prepayments over a longer duration of time, according to chief executive officer Wellington Denahan-Norris of Annaly.
"There was a time in the past that mortgages were assumable and if house prices don’t allow for mobility in the system, I could see them instituting policy that would make it so that people could still move around and maintain a very low- coupon mortgage," she said.