Last year, we transferred a significant portion of credit risk on nearly $215 billion residential mortgages. Since we began our program in 2013, we have led the market in credit risk transfer on approximately $602 billion mortgages.
It's clear that credit risk transfer is changing the way the U.S. residential housing market is funded. It has 3 main benefits:
Shifts credit risk away from taxpayers. This is clearly the biggest benefit. In the past, Freddie Mac transferred the interest rate risk, but retained the credit risk associated with the mortgages we purchased. Today, we're also transferring a significant portion of the mortgage credit risk to private investors. Since we started our credit risk transfer program in 2013, we've raised about $25 billion of loss protection for taxpayers against future residential mortgage defaults.
Creates new opportunities for investors. Our growing and evolving credit risk transfer program enables us to reach an expanding and diverse investor base, many of which have not historically invested in agency single–family mortgage credit risk. We now have more than 200 unique investors, including money managers, alternate investment funds, insurance and reinsurance companies and real estate investment trusts (REITs). A bigger pool of investors also means we are able to disperse risk more widely.
Strengthens the mortgage market. In addition to shielding taxpayers from losses, our strong risk management approach underlying this evolving funding model also helps to build a more robust system that can keep overall mortgage rates low for America's borrowers and lower costs for investors. In addition, it's more flexible and better able to weather dynamic market and economic conditions.
Across all sectors in housing, we’re experiencing a technology transformation that is increasing velocity, reducing cost and improving quality. In fact, the pace of change throughout the mortgage process has been steadily accelerating, and that trajectory is likely to continue in years ahead.
Although this year’s Optigo conference looked a little different, over 1,800 multifamily professionals joined the Freddie Mac team online to talk about the year we’ve had and look forward to what lies ahead.