Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have raised their prices for both long- and short-term debt in the last few weeks as their losses from the single-family sector continue to pile up.
For the past six to eight weeks, the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) have slowly but steadily raised pricing, resulting in a 20- to 25-basis point hike in that time. The GSEs are now quoting 10-year deals with spreads of about 255 basis points. With the benchmark 10-year Treasury rate at 3.84 percent, that works out to an all-in rate of around 6.4 percent for a 10-year loan, as of Aug. 15.
The GSEs had provided sub-6 percent debt for much of the year, serving to boost liquidity and fill the void left by the collapse of conduit lenders. But borrowers might not see sub-6 percent fixed-rate debt again anytime soon.
“Six percent debt is a thing of the past,” said Tim White, president of agency lender PNC ARCS. “The only way to go under 6 percent right now is to do it with an adjustable-rate loan.” Even low-leverage 10-year fixed-rate loans of less than 55 percent loan to value (LTV) are currently priced at more than 6 percent, White added.
Short-term loans have also seen substantial hikes in recent weeks, though the spreads have been pretty volatile day-to-day. For example, on Aug. 11, Fannie Mae was quoting five-year deals at 265 basis points over the benchmark Treasury, but by Aug. 15, that figure was 302 basis points.
“In the last week, we saw the biggest increase in pricing on a five- and seven-year deal in probably the last two years,” said Vic Clark, a managing director at agency lender Column Financial.
Underwriting has also grown more conservative in the last two months. In June, Clark closed a $3.8 million Fannie Mae refinancing for a garden apartment complex in Houston. The seven-year loan was full-term interest only. But the agencies won’t consider a full-term interest-only seven-year loan now, unless it was for a loan of less than 55 percent LTV. “I couldn’t get that deal done today,” said Clark. “Today, it would probably be three years of interest only, maximum.”
The rising rates may spur more owners to consider refinancing now, rather than wait on the sidelines for lower rates. “It may serve as an impetus to action for anybody that’s thinking about whether they really want to refinance or not,” said White. “Anybody thinking about a refinance is better off executing today than waiting to see what will happen in another six months.”