Executive Perspectives Blog
Since one-third of Americans rent rather than own their home, Freddie Mac has a vibrant business focused on the multifamily marketplace. Here, we work with a variety of business partners – lenders, borrowers and securities investors – to finance affordable housing for renters nationwide. How are we doing in terms of creating value for these stakeholders as well as the U.S. taxpayer who capitalizes Freddie Mac?
With mortgage interest rates at record lows and single-family home affordability at an all-time high, there has never been a better time to buy. In the wake of the recent housing crisis, it's increasingly common for prospective homebuyers to consider buying a real estate owned (REO) home – one that has gone through the foreclosure process and is owned by a bank or other institution. While the process for buying an REO is a lot like buying any other home, it's important to understand what you should know before you buy.
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.