NAR, Industry Groups Talk Housing Reform With HUD

November 26, 2019

The National Association of REALTORS® joined the National Association of Home Builders, Mortgage Bankers Association, and Department of Housing and Urban Development last week for a roundtable discussion designed to dive deeply into some of the most pressing issues facing the housing and mortgage industries. NAR President-elect Charlie Oppler attended the meeting, held Thursday and Friday in New York, which focused on:

  • Updates regarding regulatory priorities at HUD.
  • The Department of the Treasury’s housing reform plan.
  • Developments at the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
  • The latest on the Ability to Repay/Qualified Mortgage rule.
  • An economic update from NAHB Chief Economist Rob Dietz.

Oppler and other officials discussed reform proposals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which the White House released in June. The proposals offered the first substantive, concrete glimpse into the Trump administration’s priorities in this arena. In short, the administration wants to reduce government support for Fannie and Freddie while creating an explicit GSE government guarantee and allowing multiple new GSEs to compete with Fannie and Freddie.

NAR continues to support restructuring the secondary mortgage market to ensure a reliable and affordable source of mortgage capital for consumers in all types of markets. The association’s own blueprint for housing finance reform, developed with the help of industry experts and some of the top academic minds in the field, introduces a private, shareholder-owned utility model that prioritizes and protects a liquid mortgage market for middle America and underserved borrowers alike.

Perhaps most importantly, NAR continues to contend that reforms must include the preservation of the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. Ultimately, NAR is seeking GSE reforms that ensure responsible, creditworthy Americans can secure a mortgage under all economic conditions.

Also emerging from last week’s roundtable were updates surrounding the administration’s Ability to Repay and Qualified Mortgage rules. The regulations require that only safe loans be originated and provides clarity on which mortgage terms are allowed, respectively.

NAR continues to reiterate its support for broad definitions that promote affordable lending to all creditworthy borrowers. NAR also stresses its belief that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should build on the QM patch rather than allow it to expire next year.