Placed under conservatorship in 2008, the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are now at the center of a debate over their future and the next step in their evolution. On Thursday, the National Association of REALTORS® presented a refined version of its own proposal, first released as a white paper in February 2019—that the GSEs should be transformed into mortgage market utilities.
During a webinar Thursday, “The Future of the GSEs Webinar: Readying Fannie and Freddie for the Next Chapter,” NAR brought together policy, academic, and financial experts to discuss new research and to explore the benefits to consumers, taxpayers, and markets of NAR’s market utility option.
A utility would serve the dual objectives of creating competitive outcomes and achieving the charter goals of both Fannie and Freddie to provide liquidity, stability, and affordability to the mortgage market, said Ken Fears, senior policy representative at NAR. Fears is co-author of both the original NAR white paper and the update, titled "GSEs: Their Viability as Public Utilities."