Mortgage giant Freddie Mac reported net income of $11 billion for 2012, compared to a net loss of $5.3 billion a year earlier, as a result of the housing market turning a corner and the firm working to minimize legacy losses.
The government-sponsored enterprise also reported net income of $4.5 billion for the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to net income of $2.9 billion from the previous quarter.
The quarter-over-quarter increase primarily reflects a decrease in the volume of newly delinquent single-family loans and continued improvement in national home prices, the earnings report noted.
"In 2012, Freddie Mac significantly improved its financial performance and returned more than $7 billion to America’s taxpayers through dividends," said Freddie Mac CEO Donald Layton. "We played a leading role in helping America’s homeowners last year, working with our lender customers to streamline programs to assist more distressed borrowers while expanding access to affordable mortgage funding through programs like HARP."
In 2012, Freddie Mac helped 2.5 million families to buy, refinance or rent a home and another 170,000 families avoided foreclosure, bringing the total to nearly 10 million since the start of the housing crisis.
"We continue to work with our regulator, our customers and the industry to support the housing market and build a stronger mortgage finance system for the nation," Layton said.
Freddie Mac did not require a draw from the U.S. Department of Treasury in 4Q12 because the GSE had positive net worth as of Dec. 31, 2012.
The GSE continues to ensure credit availability for new and refinanced mortgages as well as rental housing. The company also continues to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure and stabilize communities nationwide.
As a result, since the beginning of 2009, Freddie Mac has helped more than 8.9 billion households own or rent a home and another 785,000 avoid foreclosure, the enterprise stated.
Additionally, Freddie Mac continues to provide access to affordable financing for new and refinanced mortgages as well as rental housing.
Since 2009, the company has provided nearly $1.8 trillion in liquidity to the market through its purchases of loans and issuances of mortgage-backed securities, which includes $474 billion in 2012.
Refinance purchases of $351 billion accounted for 82% of the company’s single-family mortgage purchase volume during 2012.
As a result, the GSE estimates that the homeowners who refinanced during 2012 will save an average of $3,200 in interest payments during the first 12 months.
Relief refinance mortgages comprised approximately 35% of Freddie Mac’s total refinance volume during 2012, based on unpaid principal balance, with the Home Affordable Refinance Program representing a larger part of such activity than in 2011.
During 2012, the GSE purchased 434,000 HARP loans totaling $86.9 billion, more than double the amount purchased last year, according to the report.
"This increase reflects enhancements to HARP implemented in 2012 to help more underwater homeowners refinance into more favorable terms," Freddie Mac said.