Mortgage Giant Offers Another Sign of Stabilizing Market


Fannie Mae, which backs the most loans in the country, announced that it would not need taxpayer aid to cover losses for the first time since the federal government took control over the mortgage giant in 2008.

Fannie posted a profit in the first quarter of the year, reporting a net income of $2.7 billion compared to a $6.5 billion loss they reported in the first quarter of 2011.

“We expect our financial results for 2012 to be significantly better than 2011,” says Susan McFarland, Fannie Mae’s chief financial officer. “As our serious delinquency rate declines and home prices stabilize, we expect to reduce our reserves, which combined with revenue from our high-quality new book of business, will drive our future results.”

Several analysts say there are signs of the housing market stabilizing: The decline in home prices is slowing, more Americans are buying homes than a year ago, and housing starts have climbed in the last year.

Freddie Mac, also a government-sponsored enterprise and mortgage giant, recently reported a profit as well — a $577 million quarterly net income for the first quarter.

Source: “Fannie Mae Profit Signals a Stabilizing Housing Market,” The New York Times (May 9, 2012)