Real estate: Slow reforms hamper US MBS
As US house prices continue to rise, efforts to reform how the country’s housing market is financed are faltering.
By Ben Edwards
Bond investors are resisting attempts to encourage them back into the US mortgage market to shift the burden of any future losses away from the government’s mortgage agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
US senators Bob Corker and Mark Warner tabled a bill that would have wound down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and lured back private capital but it failed to secure cross-party support in the Senate last year and now with the US general election in November and a presidential election in 2016, the chances of imminent reform have faded.
The biggest reason [for the dearth of issuance] is a lack of broader participation by the larger banks
“There was a lot of very visible activity a year ago, but there’s been nothing formal that’s happened since then,” says Steve Abrahams, head of MBS and securitization research at Deutsche Bank in New York. “Congress seems to have pretty much given up on hopes of getting anything done either this year or next year.”