REALTOR® Party News

Unveiling Our Vision for Housing Finance Reform

February 2019

NAR CEO Bob Goldberg & 2019 President John Smaby

NAR CEO Bob Goldberg & 2019 President John Smaby

Last Thursday, February 7, REALTORS® had the chance to showcase their leadership on housing finance reform in front of more than 400 industry professionals, NAR members and a few current and former Congressmen.

With reform to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on the minds of so many in Washington, NAR’s first-annual Policy Forum took an extensive dive into its work to ensure these Government Sponsored Entities can effectively serve the housing market and protect taxpayers in the years and decades to come.

At the conclusion of the Forum, those 400 attendees were given a first-hand, first-time look at detailed research outlining NAR’s vision for GSE reform. The whitepaper is already being referred to by both media outlets and industry trade groups as a critical building block for housing finance reform legislation. These discussions continue to gain traction on Capitol Hill.

The paper – and our vision – is true to our core. It offers policymakers a framework that leverages reforms and innovations implemented since the crisis while also promoting competition in the secondary market. Quite simply, our vision boils down to five key principles: protecting taxpayers by using private capital; minimizing costs to consumers; promoting housing accessibility and affordability; preserving the 30-year fixed rate mortgage; and maximizing access for creditworthy borrowers.

The housing crisis of 2007-2008 left Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac financially devastated, forcing the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to move to place the GSEs into conservatorship.

While conservatorship remains more than a decade later, NAR has read the writing on the wall and is evolving to ensure our members and America’s housing industry are in the best possible situation should policymakers move to end conservatorship in the coming months or years.

Led by two of the best minds in the field, Dr. Susan Wachter, Professor of Real Estate and Finance at the University of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Richard Cooperstein, head of Risk Management at Andrew Davison and Company, Inc., NAR has presented a pragmatic solution to these challenges – prioritizing and protecting a liquid mortgage market for Middle America and underserved borrowers alike.

Our hope is that this work will result in GSE reform legislation that secures a government guarantee, ensures equal access for lenders of all sizes, promotes consumer affordability, maintains broad consumer access and protects the 30-year fixed rate mortgage.

To read the full working paper and its executive summary, please visit


  1. REPLY
    Mary Thompson says

    “Minimizing the cost to consumers in normal and stress periods while maximizing access for creditworthy borrowers.” As long as this does not mean removing the Appraisal Valuation from the mix of this reform. BUYERS/Consumers and Lenders of Real Estate are only protected by boots on the ground appraisals. The Appraisal fee is a drop in the bucket compared to the totality of Lender Fees and the protections it provides to buyers. The time it takes to provide the lender with the report is minimal. It still takes weeks for the loan to be approved in most cases, it only takes one week or less from the time the appraisal is ordered to report delivery back to the Lender. Time and Time again it has been proven that automated valuation models vary widely and many times are inaccurate. They may be good for “cookie cutter” homes, but that is where it ends. If you remove “boots on the ground” protection for both Buyers and Lenders, you are doomed for another financial crisis. Let’s not even talk about bifurcated appraisals! They are BAD for everyone. Those who are doing the inspections on these reports have no clue how appraiser’s really look at everything about that property, from the prospective of the buying market place. Remember this please: While buyers may have great credit, most would not want to be paying for a home that is not worth it! The buyer needs to be protected first and foremost and Realtors who represent the buyers need to remember this or it will come back to haunt them. Thank you for your time and I hope the NAR is in agreement on this issue.

Leave a Reply to Mary Thompson Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.