The enterprises' fees are "getting closer" to the level playing field sought by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, acting director Edward DeMarco says. His agency plans to "continue pursuing gradual guarantee fee increases" in the near future until equilibrium is reached.
Any changes in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan limits will be measured and gradual "so as not to disrupt the markets," the acting director said in a speech at the Mortgage Bankers Association's annual convention in Washington. The changes also will be across-the-board, "not just in some parts of the country."
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are "on track" with regard to completing their repurchase requests on loans securitized by the two enterprises prior to being taken into conservatorship by the FHFA in 2008, he said in his wide-ranging speech at the meeting.
Those buyback requests should be finished by yearend, DeMarco said.
The FHFA head also promised to continue "to refine and improve upon" the GSEs' rep-and-warrant framework, with improved data systems and technological developments contributing to quicker and more reliable loan reviews. There will be "further relief in the future," the regulator said.
"There is still a learning process going on," he added, "but further improvements should emerge over time."
Fannie and Freddie are on target to achieve $30 billion each in risk-sharing transactions this year, DeMarco also told the conference. So far, so good, he added, noting that the deals have been "well received by the market."
Lew Sichelman is an independent journalist who has been covering the housing and mortgage markets for more than 40 years.