Fannie Mae guaranteed $7.1 billion of new multifamily MBS during the first quarter, its best issuance volume since the advent of the credit crisis four years ago.

Kimberly Johnson, vice president of capital markets for the GSE, told National Mortgage News that, first quarter traditionally is not its strongest.

First quarter MF issuance just about matched 4Q11, and rose 44% from 1Q11, she said.

Fannie also re-securitized $2.6 billion of delegated underwriting and servicing MBS through its guaranteed multifamily structures program.

Of the $2.6 billion of resecuritizations, almost all was real estate mortgage investment conduit (REMIC) related. The remaining $100 million was in ‘Mega’ form. (Roughly put, REMICs have a bit more flexibility in terms on how securities can be structured and were designed to offer tax advantages, while Megas recombine several DUS MBS into a single deal.)

Johnson said the stronger volume was driven by improved program liquidity tied to both its efforts and that of Freddie Mac. But she noted that: “We are still not seeing a lot of multifamily in conduit deals just yet.”

She added that, property valuations are “coming back while rates are still low.”

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