Regional Real Estate Report: Freddie Mac seeks $10.6 billion in federal aid

Monday, May 10, 2010

Freddie Mac is asking for $10.6 billion in additional federal aid after posting an $8 billion loss in the first three months of the year.

The McLean-based mortgage finance company has been effectively owned by the government after nearly collapsing in September 2008. The new request will bring the total tab for rescuing Freddie Mac to $61.3 billion.

Created by Congress, Freddie Mac and sibling company Fannie Mae, based in the District, buy mortgages from lenders and package them into bonds that are resold to global investors. As the housing bubble burst, they were unable to raise enough money to stay afloat, and the government effectively nationalized them.

Since then, Uncle Sam's share of the mortgage business has kept getting bigger. Government institutions -- mainly Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs -- backed nearly 97 percent of home loans in the first quarter of 2010, according to trade publication Inside Mortgage Finance.

With the housing market still on shaky ground, Obama administration officials argue that it is still too early to draft any proposals to reform the two companies.

But Republicans argue that the sweeping financial overhaul currently before Congress is incomplete without a plan for Fannie and Freddie. Senate Republicans propose transforming Fannie and Freddie into private companies with no government subsidies or to shut them down completely.

-- Associated Press

McCaffery names new property management VP

Carlton Diehl, president of the board of directors of the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District, has been named vice president of property management at McCaffery Interests, a privately owned commercial real estate company. Diehl previously served as president and chief operating officer of Cafritz Co.

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