Obama to Speak About Housing on Thursday in Phoenix

President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak about the U.S. housing market at Central High School in Phoenix, Arizona, according to multiple reports.

Neither the president nor the White House has publicly announced exactly what he will speak about with regards to the housing market on Thursday. It is widely speculated that he will avoid the hot button topics of GSE reform and the elimination of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; though both parties agree that a change is needed where the GSEs are concerned, they disagree on what type of change should take place. Should the GSEs continue to function on their own independent of theFHFA conservatorship, or should they be eliminated altogether and replaced with a government agency?

Some analysts suggest that the omission of GSE reform from the president’s speech would cause a boost in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stock prices, since omitting GSE reform would almost assuredly mean that such reform is unlikely to happen.

“We believe the absence of the topic in his Phoenix speech may be seen as a sign that the administration is giving up on its goal of unwinding the (government sponsored enterprises),” analysts from New York-based investment bank Keefe, Bruyette, & Woods wrote.

As to what he will speak about, analysts say he will address the topic of lowering the premiums for federally-backed mortgage loans in order to help families and individuals who can’t afford the larger down payment to purchase a home.

“If President Obama does mention this then we think it could positively impact the mortgage lenders, title insurers, and homebuilders,” the KBR analysts wrote.

The FHFA recently made an announcement it would be offering mortgage loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with as low as a 3 percent down payment for qualified first-time homebuyers.

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