Real estate investors must always be on their toes in anticipation of changes in the market. From how long it takes to sell a property to the local zoning regulations, no detail can be ignored. One thing that real estate investors can count on in the coming year and beyond is the impact the incoming Federal Housing Finance Agency head will have as it relates to mortgage loans.

Representative and incoming FHFA Director Mel Watt was tapped and confirmed to be the new chief of the agency that oversees both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The outgoing administrator, Ed DeMarco had concentrated his efforts on protecting the taxpayer taking steps to ensure there would never be a need for a taxpayer funded bailout. In addition, Mr. DeMarco’s mission to restore Fannie and Freddie’s profitability relied on buying quality paper, implementing more stringent lending guidelines while simultaneously increasing the so-called “G-Fees” that lenders must pay on each and every conventional mortgage.

DeMarco’s proposed G-Fee increases could result in an increase of as much as three-quarters of one percent on each and every loan. Of course, it’s not the lender that actually pays the fee; the fee is passed down to the consumer in the form of higher rates.

Rep. Watt has long been a consumer advocate as it relates to housing and other issues. Expanding home ownership and providing low income housing assistance is a Watt trademark. And that trademark was reinforced just last week as Watt announced that the proposed G-Fee increases would be put on hiatus until further notice.

That means proposed rate increases will at minimum be halted if not abandoned completely. That means two things for real estate investors; one, financing for the investor will be easier due to the lower rates and two, more buyers can buy real estate from investors due to the lower payments. The FHFA has a new sheriff in town, and it appears the consumer will be the main beneficiary.