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Fannie Mae reports strong year in multifamily financing

Fannie Mae responded to the strong demand for new rentals and refinances across the country in 2014 by pumping $28.9 billion into the multifamily sector, about $100 million more than in 2013, Fannie's head of multifamily told Scotsman Guide News on Monday.  

“The demographics continue to be in favor of new renters entering the space; vacancy rates are low and will continue to be low,” said Jeffery Hayward, Fannie's executive vice president and head of multifamily, while attending the Mortgage Bankers Association's CREF/Multifamily Housing Convention & Expo in San Diego.

Fannie backed loans from lenders that financed 446,000 units last year, the government-sponsored enterprise reported. Nearly all of the loans were delivered through Fannie's Delegated Underwriting and Servicing (DUS) risk-sharing program.

Hayward said that DUS multifamily volume was about $100 million higher than in 2013, but still lagged far behind precrash volumes, which were in the mid-$40 billion range. Volume has climbed sharply since around 2010, however, when it dipped below $20 billion into the high teens. 

Hayward expects refinance activity to outperform acquisition loans in 2015 for such things as new construction and renovation, with about one-third for acquisition and two-thirds for refinance.

“That’s historically where it typically flows,” he said, speaking about refinances.

Fannie indicated that its top three multifamily lending partners were Walker & Dunlop, Wells Fargo Multifamily Capital and Berkadia Commercial Mortgage.

Freddie Mac reported last week that it had the second largest year for multifamily purchases in the company’s history. It provided $28.3 billion in loan purchase and bond guarantees in 2014, up 10 percent over the previous year’s total of $25.8 billion. 

"The market was incredibly competitive this year,” said Hilary Provinse, senior vice president for multifamily customer engagement at Fannie Mae, in a news release. “The first half of the year was slow for everyone, so to have reached $28.9 billion in volume is a significant accomplishment. But it’s not just the volume that’s impressive, it’s the quality of the business — we’re taking smart risks and winning the right deals." 


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