The battle for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – so-called government- sponsored enterprises or GSEs – involves two hugely profitable companies and what will become of them. They were open and functioning even during the worst moments of the mortgage meltdown. And yet, somehow, they are still in government hands after more than a decade as a federal conservatorship. The trillion-dollar question is what’s next for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the mortgage marketplace? 04  FEATURED ARTICLE: GSE REFORM: HOUSING FINANCE SAVIOR OR LOOMING DISASTER? 2019 is set to be a year of significant uncertainty in the housing market, writes Tendayi Kapfidze, chief economist at LendingTree. Macro factors in the overall economy and in the housing sector both have a broad range of possible endpoints, among the widest since the housing bubble burst. For mortgage lenders, this means it’s a particularly perilous time to be in business and will require some dexterity and foresight to make it through. 16  MY TAKE: GATHERING RISKS MAKE 2019 A CHALLENGING YEAR FOR MORTGAGE LENDERS Maryland’s close proximity to the nation’s capitol has a definite upside – not only for the well to do, but for real estate investors. Housing News Report highlights four Maryland markets that show good promise for investing: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. 20  SPOTLIGHT: MARYLAND STILL AN ATTRACTIVE PLACE TO INVEST




In this infographic, ATTOM Data Solutions ranks the most affordable US counties to rent and buy in. 27  BIG DATA SANDBOX: BUY OR RENT? THAT IS THE QUESTION.


ATTOM Data Solutions recently released its 2019 rental affordability report, which shows that renting a three-bedroom property is more affordable than buying a median-priced home in 442 of 775 U.S. counties analyzed for the report. This deeper dive showcases those areas where rental affordability is at its peak. 34  DATA IN ACTION: RENTAL MARKETS WITH THE MOST UPSIDE


2 think realty housing news report

april 2019 3

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