Access to mortgage credit inched up in June, as competition for jumbo loans resulted in looser underwriting, but government lending standards got more restrictive, the Mortgage Bankers Association said.
A Fannie Mae test to handle the private mortgage insurance process for lenders may raise concerns that it's going outside the scope of its secondary market mission. But the effort reflects its mandate to explore new credit-risk transfer alternatives, a company executive said.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac enjoy considerable advantages because of their lower cost of capital and significant government subsidies. But with some conforming loans, the private market is finding a way to compete.
Commercial and multifamily mortgage debt outstanding grew $44.3 billion during the first three months of 2018, the largest first-quarter gain since before the Great Recession, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.