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WASHINGTON, DC-Freddie Mac is launching a new $1B debt program that it hopes will deliver more liquidity to the multifamily sector–and as an added bonus, hopefully begin to thaw out the frozen credit markets. The new investment vehicles are a departure for the GSE, which is essentially reselling senior securities that it has purchased, as well as privately placed subordinated securities. Typically Freddie Mac has held such securities on its own balance sheet–instead of opting for a form of securitization.

These so-called K Certificates–which are backed by approximately $1 billion in multifamily mortgage loans originated through Freddie Mac’s Capital Markets Execution program–will be offered to the market by a network of dealers led by Deutsche Bank Securities. Freddie Mac will go to market with the certificates in June; they are backed by 62 recently originated multifamily mortgages and are guaranteed by Freddie Mac.

In many ways, Freddie Mac is tapping the capital markets for much the same reasons that private sector companies did when CMBS and RMBS were an active, viable investment product: it needs to clear off its balance sheet in order to keep providing financing for the multifamily sector. “Our K Certificates provide another way for Freddie Mac to provide liquidity to the multifamily housing finance market,” David Brickman, vice president of Multifamily and CMBS Capital Markets for Freddie Mac, says in a prepared statement. They also will be a good deal for investors, he adds. “The securities offer investors credit protection in the form of both Freddie Mac’s guarantee and principal subordination, and they are structured to provide stable, reliable cash-flows due to the large, diversified pool of call-protected multifamily mortgages underlying the certificates.”

Indeed, these sentiments were echoed by one asset manager for an institutional investor, “For conservative investors they will be worth looking into, especially with the guarantee.”

The K-Certificates also put Freddie Mac on par with Fannie Mae in terms of multifamily finance capabilities, Verne L. Murray, III, SVP of Multifamily Finance at Walker & Dunlop, tells GlobeSt.com. Fannie Mae has two execution strategies at its disposal: a cash window and MBS. These are comparable to Freddie Mac’s CME execution, Murray says. No matter what its origins, Murray adds, “bottom line, this means more money is flowing into the market.”

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