In yesterday's Lender Letter, we provided new FHFA Market Cost Designations and an updated Multifamily Affordability Estimator tool to help you evaluate the affordability profile of your loan deliveries as we manage to the volume cap and its exclusions. As you know, our overall production volume cap of $30 billion has not changed, however FHFA has revised the excluded category to encompass even more targeted affordable housing in high- and very-high-cost markets and some seniors housing, in addition to the already-excluded properties with 5 to 50 units and Manufactured Housing Communities (MHC). These changes promote overall liquidity and – in particular – encourage financing for affordable rental housing.

This is welcome news for Fannie Mae as our specialty has always been providing housing for working families – in most years, approximately 85% of the apartments we finance are affordable to families earning at or below area median income. We'll continue to pursue that business, just as we always have, so keep bringing us those deals. And, we are going to continue to aggressively pursue all business that meets our credit parameters, working with strong and experienced partners in every market, every day.

To keep winning targeted affordable business, including small loans, MHC, and seniors housing, we've made big changes to some products and processes to help you compete. These changes are outlined in the new Multifamily Underwriting Standards (Form 4660) distributed yesterday. Highlights are below.

  • Our new ARM 7-4 execution offers properties with 5 to 50 units and all Multifamily Affordable Housing properties a 7-year variable-rate financing option with an embedded cap of 4% and an option to convert to a fixed-rate loan.
  • We now offer competitively priced fixed-rate loan executions with declining prepayment structures designed specifically for borrowers with properties between 5 and 50 units. These loans will enhance the ease of calculating prepayment premiums at any point during the life of the loan, giving owners of smaller properties simplicity in loan terms, predictability in prepayment, and competitive pricing.
  • We are making some sweeping changes to our underwriting floors nationwide, increasing IO for small loans, modifying LTV requirements for cashout in strong markets, and delegating 30-year amortization for all-age MHC.
  • For seniors housing transactions (including IL, AL, and ALZ) you don't need to use the Multifamily Affordability Estimator tool – we will do it for you! Given the complexity of the rents for seniors housing, we have a proxy for the affordability calculation.

Together with our regulator and with you, we will manage to our production cap while maintaining our strong credit portfolio and maximizing opportunities to support affordable housing. With 27 years of experience across all markets, our expert teams are here to serve you. For questions about the cap, exclusions, or anything else related to the multifamily business, please don't hesitate to reach out to me or any of your Deal Team members.