January 2018   Volume 44, Number 1      


Fannie Mae Launches Program to Help Boost Homebuilding

Fannie Mae is considering a series of pilot programs designed to address an issue that has plagued the U.S. real-estate market for many years: a lack of affordable homes. Fannie’s first initiative, which hasn’t been finalized, would potentially make it cheaper and simpler for prospective homebuyers to obtain loans to build new homes.

“Everything is about supply right now,” said Jon Lawless, Fannie’s vice president for product development and affordable housing. “With these activities that we’re undertaking, we hope we can find … a fast path to more supply.”

In many cities, home values have surpassed their boom-era peaks. With many buyers already being priced out of the market, there should be more incentives to build homes. However, policy-makers have struggled to make that happen.

The new program would allow the mortgage lender to sell the loan to Fannie Mae on the first day of construction. Fannie would put the loan into mortgage-backed securities along with traditional mortgages, which would potentially make the loans easier to get and cheaper. The borrower wouldn’t be required to start making payments on the mortgage until they moved into the home.

Fannie’s Lawless said the pilot still needs final approval from the company’s regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

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In this issue:

Renting Is Overtaking the Housing Market

Weekly Mortgage Applications Rise As Rates Pull Back

US New Home Sales Soar to Highest Level in 10 Years

Senate Version of Tax Bill Saves Mortgage Interest Deduction but Realtors Still Unhappy

Homebuilder Confidence Rises to 8-Month High

Foreclosure Crisis Lurks in Hurricane Damaged Areas

Fannie Mae Launches Program to Help Boost Homebuilding

Facebook Announces New Features for Home Sales

8 Markets Where Housing Inventory Is Actually Increasing

Three Facebook Updates That Affect the Way You Advertise Your Real Estate Business


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