In March, Fannie Mae said it would no longer guarantee mortgages on condos in buildings where fewer than 70 percent of the units have been sold, up from 51 percent, the paper said. Freddie Mac is due to implement similar policies next month, the paper said.
In a letter to the CEO's of both companies, Representatives Barney Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and Anthony Weiner warned that a 70 percent sales threshold "may be too onerous" and could lead condo buyers to shun new developments, according to the paper.
The legislators asked the companies to "make appropriate adjustments" to their underwriting standards for condos, the paper added. In an interview with the paper, Weiner said the rules have "had a real chill on the ability to get these condos sold," at a time when prices of condos have fallen enough to attract potential buyers.
If the condos aren't selling, then the price hasn't fallen enough and/or people don't have the means or desire to purchase them. Relaxing lending standards would be an act of sheer lunacy.
Both Fannie and Freddie are preparing a response to the lawmakers, according to the paper.
I eagerly await their $0.02.