FHFA appoints officer to deal with strategic GSE plan

A step has been taken toward determining the long-term disposition of the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a concern for many real estate industry stakeholders.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s acting director, Edward DeMarco, recently announced that Wanda DeLeo has been appointed to the post of Deputy Director in charge of the Office of Strategic Initiatives. Her duties will include coordinating the FHFA’s plan for the conservatorship of the two GSEs. While lawmakers may still change policy significantly as they seek to secure the housing finance system, the strategic plan sets three goals.

The FHFA is attempting to reduce the role that the two agencies play in the market, in order to make more room for private capital activity. At the same time, the agency wants to continue taking action to reduce foreclosures and is trying to set up new infrastructure for the secondary mortgage market. Many analysts and lawmakers want to see Fannie and Freddie play a reduced role, though it will likely take time to develop reach a solution.

Additionally, some analysts say that private capital needs more time to recover, and withdrawing or cutting down GSE activity too soon would be bad for the industry. In the long-term, property management companies, investors and other stakeholders should benefit from the stability this may help bring to the housing industry.