Ah, change. I love/hate it.
Between December 1998 and August 2006, I had 10 different addresses. I guess the anticipation of a new place to put my stuff always outweighed the dreadfulness of moving it all. The change was usually good in the end, but, man, I hated the actual move.
and Fannie Mae
are about to change. Something's going to happen. Make them completely private. Abolish them. Enhance them. Change is all-but-assured to happen and most likely sooner rather than later.
But Freddie CEO Ed Haldeman said in a blog post this week
that the GSEs have been something of a steadily rising tide lifting all boats amid the worst ebb to hit the housing market in decades. I'm sure not everyone shares his opinion.
"Our counter-cyclical presence in the market ensures that borrowers have access to affordable mortgage funding in any environment and in all geographic markets," Haldeman said.
He said conventional mortgages remain affordable and available, "due in large part" to the role Fannie and Freddie play in the global market, which is to provide stability, liquidity, and accessibility to housing finance.
As others lenders fled the market for various reasons, the GSEs market share rose and rose and rose. In 2009, Fannie and Freddie accounted for about 72% of all mortgage-backed securities issued in the U.S. compared to 3% issued by private-label securitizers. In 2006, private-label MBS were 56% of the market with the GSEs issuing about 40%. Haldeman said the GSEs help homeowners the most by keeping interest rates low, as mortgages purchased by Fannie and Freddie are significantly more affordable than loans they cannot buy because of federally mandated loan limits.
Change is coming to the GSEs. The Obama administration is expected to provide Congress with its recommendations on reforming mortgage financing before the end of January.
HousingWire's February issue explores those coming changes, weighing all sides and delving deep into what market participants hope to see, expect will happen and plan to do once the changes take root.
"We expect the federal government to continue to play an integral role in the recovery of housing for at least this year," Haldeman said. "This will help ensure that – even as the financial markets continue to change – Freddie Mac’s ability to serve America’s homeowners and renters will remain strong."
So, Haldeman doesn't expect much movement this year.
I doubt I'll be moving again soon, as well. Refinanced into a 30-year, fixed with a decent (but not great) rate of 5.75% a few years back and hate to move...again. Even if I am starting to get a little antsy for a change of scenery after nearly five years in my current home.
That might have something to do with the seven-foot Fraser fir that's STILL sitting in my living room and January is almost over.
Write to Jason Philyaw