WASHINGTON, DC—Walker & Dunlop CEO Willy Walker is predicting that Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Melvin Watt will release the 2014 GSE score card on May 13 when he is scheduled to give an industry speech. Walker made the comments last week during the company’s earnings call.
The scorecard generally appears in the first quarter. It is a roadmap from the agency on how and in what amounts and in what categories and structures the GSEs will focus their lending. Oftentimes it is business as usual; last year, of course, it wasn’t when the FHFA announced a 10% haircut on multifamily lending.
This release will be the first significant indicator from Watt about his plans for the GSEs.
Another sign that suggests Watt is getting ready to debut the scorecard: in a speech last week before the Federal Home Loan Banks’ Annual Directors Conference—Watts’ first speech since being sworn in—he told the audience that at another speech next week “…I will be discussing the next steps in the conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”
Walker’s expectation is that the scorecard will “call for leaving in place the 2013 multifamily lending caps of $30 billion and $26 billion and potentially allowing the GSE’s to exceed those limits by doing more loans on affordable properties as well as manufactured and senior’s housing.”
Indeed, Walker’s opinion is that given the competitive landscape, the GSEs and HUD will be challenged to “fully deploy the vast sums of capital they are currently allocated,” he also said during his earnings call.
Of course, all bets are off if the proposed housing-finance reform bill becomes a reality. Walker believes there is a 30 to 60 day window for the bill to gain momentum and make it to the Senate floor for a vote.