Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are making condominium loans eligible for automated appraisal waivers that could reduce mortgage borrowers' fees and shorten closing times for lenders.

Fannie Mae added the eligibility in recent updates to requirements for its property inspection waivers, and Freddie is following suit with a similar update to its eligibility for its automated collateral evaluations. Mortgage lenders can submit condo loans that may be eligible through Freddie's automated underwriting system, Loan Advisor Suite, starting on July 16.

"We continue to see the share of condo loans we purchase increase, especially among first-time homebuyers," David Lowman, executive vice president of Freddie Mac's single-family business, said in a press release. "ACE for condos will help increase the efficiency of the mortgage origination process, offer greater certainty and help save our clients, and their customers, time and money."

David Lowman is executive vice president of Freddie Mac's single-family business.
David Lowman is executive vice president of Freddie Mac's single-family business.

Appraisals need to be substantiated by in-house and third-party data sources in order to be eligible for the waivers, in line with the two government-sponsored enterprises' broader move toward simplifying loan processing through automated verification of underwriting information. To validate appraisal information, the GSEs examine historical home valuation data they have, as well as multiple listing services and public records, using proprietary models.

In addition to using data validation to simplify loan processing, the agencies often rely on it to extend representation and warranty relief to lenders.

Condominium data can be tougher to verify than data on traditional loans because there is less structured data in the market. Condos are run by homeowners associations that often are staffed by volunteers, so information can be challenging to collect.

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