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FHFA more than doubles multifamily lending caps for Fannie and Freddie

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WASHINGTON—The Federal Housing Finance Agency is revising the multifamily loan purchase caps for mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The new caps for the next five quarters will be $100 billion for each government-sponsored enterprise. At least 37.5% of the GSEs’ multifamily businesses must go toward affordable housing once the new caps take effect, the agency said in a release.

The $100 billion caps for each company will be a marked increase compared to previous years. Currently, the caps are set at $35 billion for each GSE.

Multifamily housing is a critical component of addressing our nation’s shortage of affordable housing,” said FHFA Director Mark Calabria in a press release. “These new multifamily caps eliminate loopholes, provide ample support for the market without crowding out private capital, and significantly increase affordable housing support over previous levels.”

FHFA placed a cap on Fannie and Freddie’s multifamily businesses in 2014 to ensure liquidity in the market while allowing for more private capital.

However, the new caps will help the GSEs play more of a countercyclical role in the market, FHFA said.

Under the new policy, “green loans” that finance energy and water efficiency improvements will not be excluded from the cap.

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