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Condo originations ‘streamlined’ through project advisor tool: Freddie Mac

The updates will offer new tools to help determine whether a specific loan for a condo unit meets Freddie Mac’s guidelines

Government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) Freddie Mac on Wednesday announced further enhancements to its Condo Project Advisor tool that are designed to “streamline” such loan originations and to offer lenders “greater security” through a new designation, according to an announcement.

“This designation, known as ‘project certified’ status for Project Assessment Requests (PAR), confirms that condo properties meet certain project review and general eligibility requirements for financing,” Freddie Mac said of the new designation. “Once reaching this status, lenders only need to do minimal project underwriting, which may save lenders time and borrowers money.”

Lenders also now can submit to receive project certified status for certain projects at no cost, specifically “for loans secured by units in condo projects that don’t already carry this status,” the GSE said.

The new designation will become available to all Freddie Mac-authorized lenders using Condo Project Advisor on Dec. 8, 2023.

“Condominiums provide a key path to homeownership, particularly for first-time and low-income homebuyers,” said Tanya DeLia, Single-Family VP of Collateral Risk Management at Freddie Mac. “Considering the challenges facing the housing market currently, it should come as no surprise that condo financing is especially critical.”

Freddie Mac is committed to “continuing to find ways to help streamline condo loan originations, while helping lenders ensure that condo homebuyers are put on a path of sustainable and successful homeownership in [such] communities,” she added.

News of the move was immediately lauded by the Community Home Lenders of America (CHLA), according to a statement from the organization.

“CHLA commends Freddie Mac for [providing] more transparency to condo associations and lenders regarding which condo projects are eligible for Freddie Mac loans — and would provide assistance to both to help non-eligible condos become eligible,” CHLA said.

Such actions can serve as important steps to “facilitate homeowner access to affordable mortgage loans for condos, one of the most affordable sectors of our housing markets,” CHLA added.

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