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February 27, 2012 / Volume 4 / Number 49
US Unveils Plan to Wind Down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
The regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac wants to shrink the seized housing-finance giants gradually and create a new market for mortgage-backed securities to help the private sector.
The recommendations came in a new strategic plan for Fannie and Freddie submitted to lawmakers Tuesday by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which has overseen the companies since they were put into government conservatorship in 2008 to avoid their failure.
Fannie and Freddie have almost single-handedly kept the housing finance market afloat in recent years. Together, they guarantee about $100 billion a month in mortgages, an amount that represents about 75 percent of all new home loans.
The FHFA wants to jump-start stalled efforts in Washington to find an endgame for Fannie and Freddie, which are 80 percent owned by taxpayers and have received about $183 billion in bailout money.
The Obama administration and Congress want to shut down Fannie and Freddie and reduce the government’s role in the mortgage market, which has expanded dramatically since the financial crisis.
But there is no consensus on exactly how to do it amid concern that acting too soon could damage the still-reeling housing market.
In fact, the administration and some Democrats in Congress have been pushing Fannie and Freddie to do more to help struggling homeowners by reducing their mortgage payments and even lowering the amount owed on their loans.
The FHFA’s acting director, Edward J. DeMarco, has rebuffed calls for principal write-downs, saying they would result in bailout losses to taxpayers.
The latest plan for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac doesn’t anticipate that they would continue “as they existed before conservatorship,” the FHFA said.
“And though (they) may well cease to exist at some point in the future, at least as they are known today, the country’s $10 trillion, single-family mortgage market will not go away,” the agency said. “Therefore, an orderly transition to a new structure is needed.”
DeMarco laid out three goals: build a new infrastructure for the secondary mortgage market, “gradually contract” Fannie’s and Freddie’s presence in the market, and continue efforts to reduce foreclosures.
He warned that simply shutting down Fannie and Freddie without new ways to encourage private investment in the mortgage market would drive up interest rates and limit the availability of loans.
About a year ago, the administration proposed to shut down Fannie and Freddie over five to 10 years. The plan presented three options for Congress to consider: a limited government guarantee of some mortgages, an emergency backstop role only during recessions, and a nearly complete pullback of the federal government from the mortgage market.
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said this month that the administration expects to provide more details of its plans this spring.
“As we made clear last year, our immediate obligation is to repair the damage to homeowners, the housing market and neighborhoods caused by the crisis,” Geithner said.
Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., who chairs a House subcommittee overseeing Fannie and Freddie, said he welcomed DeMarco’s plans.
“The housing sector will continue to be a drag on our economic recovery until we end the ongoing bailout of Fannie and Freddie and replace the existing government-backed mortgage-finance system with a purely private-market solution,” Garrett said.
February 2012 U. S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook
Freddie Mac (OTC:FMCC) recently released its U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for February showing cautious signs of the economy and housing market moving in a positive direction fueled by an environment of low interest rates and more favorable job prospects for Americans.
• Job gains exceeded expectations for the past two months, but those leaving their jobs voluntarily were 2 million in December compared to the pre-recession average of 3 million, reflecting worker uneasiness.
• The unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent; and weekly unemployment benefits applications decreased for the third consecutive week to 348,000, the fewest since the first week in March 2008.
• More warmth is expected in the housing market sometime in 2013, as the economy continues on its slow path to a stronger recovery in a low-interest-rate environment.
• Low mortgage rates will continue to keep homebuyer affordability high and help drive more HARP refinances.
• Consumers sentiment weakened in January while at the same time homebuilder confidence continues to show signs of growth.
“The US economy continues to build on the momentum from the end of last year, says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “Our outlook anticipates gradual, but steady, improvement in the economy and the housing market, supported by low interest rates and brightening job market prospects.”
For more information, visit http://www.freddiemac.com / Posted By Beth On February 25, 2012 @ 12:02 am In Business Outlook, Finance and Economy, Real Estate News, Real Estate Trends, Today’s Marketplace | No Comments / Printed by permission of RISMEDIA. February 25, 2011.
NextRE Gets Property Listings Syndicated Across US Media
Every listing with NextRE is widely syndicated across the US. In addition to the expected and obvious venues, i.e. Realtor.com, MLS websites, NextRE.com and the hundreds of independent websites run by participating IDX brokerages, a datafeed of all our listings is also shared with and propagated on the property aggregating venues listed below. This practice regularly circulates every one of our listings to approximately 25 million households.
Property aggregators that receive listings from NextRE are: Zillow, Yahoo!, Walmart.com, Vast, YouTube, USHUD.com, TweetLister, Trulia, ResortScape, Relocation.com, RealtyTrac, RealtyStore, RealQuest Express, RealEstateCentral, Realtor.com, Property Shark, Property Pursuit, PropBot, Open House, Oodle, New York Post, New York Times, MyREALTY.com, Military.com, Lycos, Local.com, ListedPropertyPro, LiquidusMedia, LearnMoreNow.com, LandWatch, LakeHomesUSA, ListHub, IAS Properties, HUDseeker, HomeWinks, HomeTourConnect, Homes.com, Homes By Lender, HomeFinder.com, Home2.me, Harmon Homes, Google, Gooplex, FrontDoor, Cyberhomes, HotPads, FreedomSoft, Fox Interactive Media, Foreclosure.com, Florida Press Assoc. Media General, Express (Washington Post), eRealInvestor, Enormo, DataSphere, Craigslist, Cox Media, Comcast.com, AOL Real Estate, ABC.
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For the initial 12-month period of affiliation with NextRE, a new agent can elect to postpone payment of the brokerage fee until the closing of the first transaction, at which time the full annual fee is paid in a lump-sum out of that first commission. An annual errors and omissions (E&O) insurance premium of $395 applies.
80/20% Agent Commission Program NextRE agents earn 80% of the net commission collected and pay brokerage support fee of $110 per month.
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