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FHFA Announces Increase in Guarantee Fees


Aug 30 - The Federal Housing Finance Agency has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to raise guarantee fees  on single-family mortgages by an average of 10 basis points. The changes to g-fee pricing represent a step toward encouraging greater participation in the mortgage market by private firms, a goal set forth in FHFA’s Strategic Plan for Enterprise Conservatorships.

“These changes will move Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pricing closer to the level one might expect to see if mortgage credit risk was borne solely by private capital,” said Edward J. DeMarco, acting director of FHFA.

For loans exchanged for mortgage-backed securities, the increase will be effective with settlements starting Dec. 1, 2012. For loans sold for cash, the increases will be effective with commitments starting Nov. 1, 2012. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will work directly with lenders to implement the changes.

The FHFA has also released its fourth annual report on single-family guarantee fees, covering the years 2010 and 2011. The report, required by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, found that the average g-fee charged by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac increased from 26 basis points in 2010 to 28 basis points in 2011. This and prior reports also found that mortgages that posed higher credit risk, on average, were subsidized by lower-risk loans, and that a majority of the single-family mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac came from a small group of large lenders. The guarantee fee changes aim to address both issues. The increase will:

FHFA shortly will release for public input an approach to developing risk-based pricing at the state level.

Click here for the guarantee report.