New U.S. Housing Regulator Hears Concerns on Tight Credit

February 20, 2014
mortgage lending news
Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) director Mel Watt has made a point of meeting with housing and real estate trade groups, demonstrating that he is taking their concerns regarding credit availability seriously. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac dominate the country's housing finance system, so decisions made by Watt and his staff can have huge implications for the capital flowing to borrowers. Isaac Boltansky, a policy analyst at Compass Point Research & Trading, remarks, "While we are lacking policy specifics as the FHFA has been radio silent since Director Watt was sworn in, there is no doubt that mortgage credit availability will be prioritized."

Watt most recently sat down with National Association of Realtors President Steve Brown to discuss the mortgage market. Even before taking the reins at the FHFA on Jan. 6, Watt had already rallied to the real estate industry's cause by pledging to place a hold on planned hikes in the fees that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac charge to guarantee loans.

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