Executive Perspectives Blog
It only took Freddie Mac 17 business days to write, test, and deploy the 100+ rule changes comprising our Hurricane Sandy disaster relief policies for the systems lenders use to sell and service Freddie Mac mortgages. That is about 90 percent less time than it took to operationalize policy changes following disasters like Hurricane Katrina or the 2012 New England floods.
The upshot? Faster turnaround times at Freddie Mac equate to more quickly providing relief to borrowers whose homes were damaged by last year's super storm. This also enabled originators to maintain pricing and fund mortgages for homebuyers and refinancing borrowers whose closings were abruptly put on hold by Hurricane Sandy.
More than one-third of U.S. households rent their homes, the most since 1997. Between 2004 and 2011, we gained 5.4 million net-new renter households. Today, 15 million households live in multifamily apartment properties (five or more units) and demand for rental housing is expected to rise for years to come, driven by a range of factors.
Since Hurricane Sandy struck the Northeast, Freddie Mac has been continuously providing relief and support to borrowers and communities across the affected region.
After the storm hit, Freddie Mac staff began – and continue – to train housing counselors on disaster relief options for borrowers and work directly with hundreds of families at local borrower outreach events. Our outreach teams have mobilized and connected with non-profit organizations and federal, state, and local government task forces and commissions to expedite assistance and provide critical resources, including the short-term use of suitable REO homes as rental housing.
Faster. Easier. More transparent. These are only some of the benefits borrowers are experiencing with the new Freddie Mac Standard Short Sale program that became effective on November 1.
Because of their complexity, short sales have traditionally taken months to complete. We worked with our regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, to remove obstacles and streamline the process so we can help more borrowers and reduce costs for the company and taxpayers.
Now that we’re officially in the New Year, I want to share some of the expectations I and other Freddie Mac executives have for 2013.
Per Freddie Mac's latest forecast, as the housing recovery spreads and stabilizes, we're likely to see less refinancing and more purchase mortgages for homebuying. That’s because so much of the nation’s refi demand already has been met thanks to historically low mortgage rates and the Home Affordable Refinance Program’s success.