Economy: Unsung Heroes at Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae
- Mar 30, 2009
The multi-family divisions of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae – “the other side of the house” – rarely receive the credit due to them. It is estimated that 22-28% of American households live in rented homes. The large majority of these households fall squarely into the lower to middle income brackets. Their ability to find safe, well maintained rental communities often depends on the health of the apartment market. Critical to that marketplace is the availability of debt that helps finance the construction and acquisition of rental communities. Clearly, apartment operators/owners are willing to invest in rental properties if they have confidence in the availability of capital and ultimate value of these properties.
Not only have Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae dominated this marketplace maintaining the flow of capital while others have left, they have done so while maintaining exceptional underwriting standards and related loan delinquency performance. In fact, their delinquency rates are consistently well below 1% and each multi-family division makes hundreds of millions of dollars of annual profits.
Unfortunately, the multi-family divisions are frequently overlooked as the continued political fallout is on the homeowner/residential side of the businesses. In fact, if the residential sides of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were in such good financial shape as multi-family, the political conversations would be dramatically different. Speaking as one company who produces those apartment loans for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, let’s hope our representatives in Washington do not inadvertently hurt an effective division as they try to deal with the other side of the house.