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Why there won’t be another mortgage meltdown: Nora Guerra

Reintroducing Freddie Mac to an international audience

While the GSE – along with its cousin, Fannie Mae – are well known in the US, many among the international assemblage of attendees at NAMB National 2023 in Las Vegas Sept. 8-11 learned of the agency in greater detail. NAMB hosted the IMBF at the recent gathering, where professionals from Australia, Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom joined their US counterparts.

“We have been the cornerstone in the US for the housing market, making homeownership accessible to so many countless families across the US,” Guerra said. “Our mission to provide stability, liquidity and affordability has shaped communities across the nation. Our dedication to creating a sustainable home financing system is steadfast. And partnering with professionals like yourselves is vital to our success.”

In a room filled with foreigners unfamiliar with GSEs, that willingness to partner up with the public sector registered surprise among some guests, Guerra suggested. “Earlier, I was introducing myself to a couple of you and someone said, ‘it’s fascinating that you listen to real estate professionals’.”

Guerra was palpably enthusiastic in conveying the Freddie Mac message, yet she ticked off market improvements that would ensure greater affordability in housing. “We need to lower our more consistent mortgage interest rates nationwide,” she said. “We need longer terms, such as the 30-year fixed rate. This was such a culmination of our financial industry bringing that 30-year term versus the 15- and 20-year terms that our prior generations had.”

She outlined further steps that would more greatly ensure stability: “We try to have stability within consistent standards and requirements in the housing market,” she said. “No penalty for single-family refis. We absolutely want homeowners to take advantage of lower interest rates without penalties – access to credit for market segments that might otherwise be underserved or neglected.”

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