Congress will consider raising the guarantee fees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac charge to lenders in order to pay for tax cuts and avoid the coming fiscal cliff.
Lawmakers voted last year to raise g-fees in order to pay for a previous round of tax cuts. The Congressional Budget Office estimated at the time the increases would bring in $3.3 billion and $4.6 billion in revenue lost from the tax cuts per year.
Lenders pass these costs to the homebuyer, meaning taxpayers are essentially paying for their own tax cuts.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency raised the fees another 10 basis points effective Nov. 1 for loans Fannie and Freddie purchase with cash. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) analysts said Friday the 10 bps increase from today's levels would bring $25 billion to the GSEs through 2021.
But in order to avoid roughly $500 billion in simultaneous tax hikes and spending cuts beginning in January, Congress may look again to the mortgage giants.
"We are rapidly approaching the fiscal cliff and members of Congress will be on the prowl for new revenue," said Isaac Boltansky, a policy analyst at research firm Compass Point.
In the announcement Friday, the FHFA also said it would release plans to adjust pricing on the state level "shortly." Lenders in specific areas, where the GSEs detect the most housing risk, would be charged more for their guarantees.
"We expect New York and Florida to increase the most," Chase analysts said.