- November 2008: Vol. 20 No. 11

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Fannie and Freddie: Lending Titans Continue to Dominate Multifamily Debt, but for How Long?

by Brad Berton

In the first of several U.S. government economic interventions, the Federal Housing Finance Agency took Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into conservatorship in September, wiping out shareholders but guaranteeing the companies’ debt in order to save them from collapse. Now in the government’s hands, the companies have taken steps to keep mortgage borrowing costs low. Meanwhile, investors are left wondering what all this means for them.

As concerns persisted in recent months over potential public takeovers of government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the apartment-lending delegates of the GSEs continued funding deals at a breakneck pace.

Even while lending in the other primary income-property sectors remained sluggish during the second quarter, Fannie and Freddie, with a slight assist from Ginnie Mae, expanded outstanding agency-backed apartment debt by another $13.2 billion, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. That factors to one i

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