FHFA to Keep Multifamily Caps at Current Levels in 2017

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The multifamily lending caps for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will stay the same as they were in 2016 next year, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced.

Each of the government-sponsored enterprises will have a cap of $36.5 billion in multifamily purchase volume next year, the FHFA said Tuesday. The caps were based on the projected size of the size of the 2017 multifamily finance market, which the agency expects to remain similar to its 2016 levels.

"FHFA is announcing the caps now to maintain continuity in the market and to provide all stakeholders adequate time to plan their 2017 pipelines," the agency said in its announcement.

Exclusions from the caps for affordable and underserved market segments exist and will mostly remain the same as they were in 2016.

The one change the agency is making to these exclusions regards loans that finance energy or water efficiency improvements. Next year, loans through Fannie Mae's Green Building Certification program or Freddie Mac's Green Certified program must support properties where at least 20% of the units will be deemed affordable.

FHFA added that it will review its estimates on a quarterly basis and make adjustments if necessary, but that it wouldn't reduce the lending caps "as this could cause disruption in the market."

In May, the agency increased its cap on the amount of multifamily loans that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could purchase from $31 billion to $35 billion. The FHFA raised the cap again in August to its current level at $36.5 billion.

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