ICYMI: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA news this week

Government players in the mortgage market announced new automation developments this week as a key appointment stalled, and higher rates Reduced loan estimates.

Collectively, these add to signs that mortgage lenders will take a tougher road this year, as refinance estimates have fallen after the unusual boom of the past 24 months. Forecasts now call for more noticeable reductions in rate-related incentives to get loans than before. And while real estate agencies prepare operational improvements aimed at supporting the buying market, offsetting some of the loss in affordability that buyers are facing, some of these efforts may take longer to prepare than others.

The political stalemate over filling housing agency leadership vacancies is likely to be the source of some of these delays. While some progress has been made, with the recent confirmation of Chairman Ginnie Mae, news from the past week suggests that due to broader political developments, achieving consensus on the Federal Housing Finance Agency nominee, as federal housing administrationmay not be so easy.

Nevertheless, last week also made it clear that Ginnie Mae and the FHFA government-sponsored business fees, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, will go ahead with further loan automation even though the director of the agency remains an interim role and the GSEs remain underfunded. And while the FHA may move relatively slower, as is usually the case, this agency is also moving forward.

Read on for more details in our recap of developments at FHFA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae over the past week.

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