Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not likely to regain their former dominance over the secondary mortgage market, according to a blueprint for the future prepared by a blue-ribbon panel of lending industry leaders.The Council to Shape Change also believes that elimination of the mortgage interest tax deduction would have a major impact on people who already own homes but would not substantially alter the playing field for future homebuyers. "There would not be a fundamental change in the manner in which borrowers finance the purchase of a home," the committee says in a wide-ranging report entitled "Outlook for the Real Estate Industry." The 182-page tome is the product of six months of meetings, deliberations, and freewheeling debate among the council's 19 members, who were appointed last October by MBA chair Regina Lowrie to help prepare the industry for expected changes over the next 10 years. The panel focused on what's likely to happen rather than what "should" happen, the report says. "This is not a policy document -- it has nothing to do with policy," said council leader Andrew Woodward, the retired chairman of Bank of America Mortgage and a former MBA chairman. "We are simply forecasting how things might shake out." The council predicts that the private-label market for residential and commercial mortgages will continue to grow significantly, regardless of what lies ahead for the government-sponsored enterprises. Fannie and Freddie will continue to focus on long-term fixed-rate products, and will rise to the occasion when there is a shock to the economy. But whenever the market drifts away from the GSEs' "sweet spot," the private-label sector's share of issuances will increase, the report says.

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