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Welcome to the Government page of FHFA’s website.  This page provides consolidated resources for federal, state and local government personnel who are interested in the nation’s housing finance system.


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  1. Read FHFA's  Annual Report to Congress.

  2. Read the Strategic Plan for Conservatorships or the 2014 Scorecard​.

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  5. Read recent Speeches or Testimony.


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Key Legislation


​Short Title (Citation)



Federal Home Loan Bank Act

12 U.S.C. 1421 et seq.
(Public Law 72-304 (1932))

Established the Federal Home Loan Bank System.

​​GPO Text / PD​F


Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992

12 U.S.C. 4501 et seq.
(Public Law 102-550 (1992))

Primary statutory authorization for FHFA’s regulation of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Bank System, including supervision of housing mission and goals and actions as conservator or receiver for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or any Federal Home Loan Bank.

Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008

(Public Law 110-289 (2008))

Amended the Safety and Soundness Act to create FHFA, place regulation of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Bank System under one regulator, enhance supervision of these regulated entities, and enhance FHFA's authorities as conservator or receiver. 






​Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation Act

12 U.S.C. 1451 et seq.
(Public Law 91-351 (1970))

Created Freddie Mac and provided authority for Freddie Mac’s activities.

GPO Text / PDF​


Federal National Mortgage Association Charter Act

12 U.S.C. 1716 et seq.
(Public Law 84-345,National Housing Act, Title III (1934), as amended by the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968)

Created Fannie Mae and provided authority for Fannie Mae’s activities. Amendment in 1968 created the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae), supervised by the Department of Ho​using and Urban Development.

GPO Text / PDF

​Find regulations pertaining to FHFA supervision at eCFR.




 Related Information



Quarterly Performance Report of the Housing GSEs - Second Quarter 201415258The Enterprises <p style="font-variant&#58;normal;font-style&#58;normal;"><em>(Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae)</em></p><ul><li><span style="line-height&#58;22px;">Combined second quarter net income of $5.0 billion compared to $9.3 billion in the first quarter of 2014</span><br></li><li><span style="line-height&#58;22px;">Continued improvement in national home prices contributed to releases of loan loss reserves at both Enterprises</span><br></li><li><span style="line-height&#58;22px;">Net income declined at both Enterprises mainly driven by lower income from&#160;private-label mortgage-related (PLS) securities settlements</span><br></li><li><p><span style="line-height&#58;22px;">Combined loan loss reserves decreased $4.5 billion during the quarter</span></p><span></span></li><li><span style="line-height&#58;22px;">Enterprise MBS issuance share continued to decline in the&#160;second quarter of 2014</span></li></ul><p>&#160;</p><p>The Federal Home Loan Bank Syste​m</p><ul><li><span style="line-height&#58;22px;">​Aggregate second quarter 2014&#160;income of $527 million&#160;</span><span style="line-height&#58;22px;">compared to $567 million in the first quarter of 2014 and $691 million in the last quarter of 2013</span><br></li><li><span style="line-height&#58;22px;">Aggregate advances increased by 11 percent over the quarter to $537 billion</span><br></li><li><span style="line-height&#58;22px;">Advances increased to 62 percent of&#160;assets</span><br></li><li><span style="line-height&#58;22px;">Retained earnings increased to $12.6 billion</span>​</li></ul>10/10/2014 6:13:30 PM834http://www.fhfa.gov/AboutUs/Reports/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
FHFA Announces Settlement with HSBC14932<p><strong>Washington D.C</strong>. - The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), as conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, today announced a settlement&#160;of $550 million with HSBC North America Holdings Inc., related companies and specifically named individuals (HSBC).&#160; The settlement resolves claims in the lawsuit <em>FHFA v. </em><em>HSBC North America Holdings Inc., et al.</em> (S.D.N.Y.), alleging violations of federal, Virginia and District of Columbia securities laws in connection with private-label mortgage-backed securities purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during 2005-2007.&#160; Pursuant to the agreement, HSBC will pay $374 million to Freddie Mac and $176 million to Fannie Mae.</p><p>Only two of the 18 lawsuits FHFA&#160;filed in 2011 have not been resolved.&#160; FHFA continues to pursue a satisfactory resolution of these actions. </p>9/12/2014 9:07:46 PM3107http://www.fhfa.gov/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Prepared Remarks of Melvin L. Watt At the North Carolina Bankers Association’s American Mortgage Conference14888<p style="text-align&#58;center;"> <strong>​Prepared Remarks of Melvin L. Watt<br> ​Director, Federal Housing Finance Agency</strong><br><em>At the North Carolina Bankers Association's​​ American Mortgage Conference</em></p><p style="text-align&#58;center;">​September 8​, 2014</p><p>​​</p><p>Thank you for inviting me to be here with you in Raleigh this evening, and thank you for that introduction. </p><p>I've had a busy year, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has had a busy summer.&#160; I spent a lot of time early on building a top-notch team of Advisors, getting to know the very qualified staffs I inherited at FHFA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks.&#160; I have also spent a lot of time trying to move the mortgage finance markets back to more normalized and predictable certainty, by trying to get to know the leaders, resolve pending litigation and move toward a more satisfactory representation and warranty framework.&#160; </p><p>And, this summer, I'm sure that many of you have noticed, FHFA has requested feedback on five key issues over the last few months, which,&#160; taken together, address both our conservatorship strategic goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and our responsibilities as regulator of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Bank System. &#160;In June, we urged stakeholders to submit feedback on guarantee fee levels for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (together &quot;the Enterprises&quot;).&#160; In July, we asked for input on eligibility requirements for the Enterprises' private mortgage insurer counterparties.&#160; In August, we released a proposed Single Security structure, which we hope will generate stakeholder responses and discussion about this approach.&#160; In August, we also issued a proposed rule on the Enterprises' housing goals for 2015 through 2017. &#160;And last week, we put out a proposed rule to update and clarify certain aspects of Federal Home Loan Bank (Bank) membership requirements.&#160; </p><p>With all of these requests and notices, I'm guessing that we've been now keeping many of you quite busy, but I want to underscore the importance of receiving your feedback.&#160; To further this ongoing dialogue, today, I'd like to highlight some issues and next steps for each of the five releases I just mentioned. ​</p><p>Today is the deadline for public feedback on our requests for input about guarantee fees and private mortgage insurance.&#160; One of the first decisions I made as Director of FHFA was to suspend increases in guarantee fees that had been announced by FHFA in December of 2013.&#160; Given the impact of these fees on the Enterprises, the housing finance markets, and on borrowers, I believed that it was critical to evaluate this issue and to get feedback from stakeholders.&#160; After additional work at FHFA, we issued a Request for Input that provides further details on how the Enterprises set these fees.&#160; The request also posed a number of questions to prompt substantive feedback about how guarantee fee levels affect various aspects of the mortgage market. </p><p>FHFA has also continued to advance efforts to strengthen Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's counterparty requirements for private mortgage insurers.&#160; When a borrower makes a down payment of less than 20 percent, these mortgages are required by statute to have some private capital standing behind the loan in order to qualify for purchase by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.&#160; Private mortgage insurance has always played an important role in meeting this requirement and, as the recent crisis revealed, it is critical to make sure that this coverage is available in both good times and in bad times.&#160; To this end, FHFA released a Request for Input on draft Private Mortgage Insurer Eligibility Standards.&#160; Our objective is to have the Enterprises strengthen their risk management by enhancing the financial, business and operational requirements in place for their private mortgage insurer counterparties. </p><p>Moving forward, FHFA will review and consider the input we have received as part of our comprehensive evaluations of the guarantee fee and the private mortgage insurance issues.&#160; Consistent with our statutory mandates, our assessments and policy decisions will take into account both safety and soundness considerations and possible impacts on access to credit and housing finance market liquidity.&#160; While we understand that these topics are inter-related, which is why we decided to align the submission deadlines, I do want to note that FHFA expects to proceed with separate decisions on these topics after completing our evaluations.&#160; </p><p>Let me move on to discuss the recent Request for Input on the Proposed Single Security Structure. &#160;FHFA is in the early stages of developing a Single Security, and we released this request to facilitate robust discussions and input from all stakeholders and the public.&#160; </p><p>In working toward a Single Security, there are four aspects of the proposed structure that I want to highlight.</p><p>First, FHFA's top priority in pursuing the Single Security is to deepen and strengthen liquidity in the housing finance markets.&#160; This is a technical topic, but getting this right will have real world benefits for the markets and for borrowers.&#160; An effective Single Security will support a more liquid &quot;to-be-announced&quot; (TBA) market for mortgage-backed securities.&#160; Borrowers may not understand what the TBA market is or how it works, but the forward-trading that takes place in TBA securities means that borrowers can get a mortgage rate locked-in when they are house hunting.&#160; The TBA market also adds efficiencies to the process, which reduces transaction costs and results in lower mortgage rates for borrowers.&#160; We believe a Single Security can enhance these benefits and further strengthen market liquidity by reducing the trading disparities between Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securities. &#160;&#160;</p><p>Second, we propose leveraging the existing security structures used by the Enterprises for the Single Security.&#160; This would avoid designing a structure from scratch and we hope this approach will give market participants and investors a sense of familiarity with the way the Single Security would operate and perform.&#160; In the proposal, the Single Security would use many of the security features in Fannie Mae MBS and the disclosure regime used by Freddie Mac PCs.&#160; </p><p>Third, FHFA's proposal also focuses on the importance of making Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's existing securities equally interchangeable with the future Single Security.&#160; This is essential to meet our goal of developing a more liquid housing finance market.&#160; Without sufficient market flexibility allowing investors to trade between legacy securities and future Single Securities, current market liquidity could be impacted. &#160;Under our proposal, we believe that market participants will likely view legacy Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securities as interchangeable with a Single Security.&#160; This approach should facilitate equal treatment between Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac legacy securities. &#160;Getting feedback on this approach is critical to our success moving forward.&#160;&#160; </p><p>The fourth point I want to touch on is about the agency's timing for the development of a Single Security.&#160; Our proposal states this several times, but I want to emphasize that FHFA's proposed structure and request for input is the first-step in a multi-year process.&#160; We understand that there are a number of moving parts between the present and a future implementation date, and we understand that this process will take time.&#160; As our immediate next steps, FHFA will work with the Enterprises to process the feedback we receive and we will move forward in a deliberative and transparent manner.&#160; FHFA will continue to produce progress reports that include Common Securitization Platform and Single Security updates where appropriate.</p><p>The next two priority areas involve FHFA's responsibilities as regulator of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks.&#160; </p><p>First, at the end of last month, FHFA proposed a rule for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's housing goals for 2015 through 2017.&#160; This rulemaking is a statutory requirement set forth in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, and the comment period is open for a sixty-day window through the end of October.&#160; We know that challenges exist in today's housing market that make it difficult for many lower-income families to access mortgage financing or to find an affordable apartment to rent.&#160; Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not originate mortgages themselves, but the housing goals measure the number or percentage of Enterprise mortgage purchases that provide homeownership and affordable rental housing opportunities for these families.&#160; I hope that all of you take a close look at our proposed rule and the questions it raises about how best to set Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's housing goals to encourage responsible lending that is done in a safe and sound manner and serves the single-family and rental housing needs of lower-income families. </p><p>For the housing goals that focus on affordable single-family mortgages, FHFA is asking for feedback on three alternative ways to set these goals.&#160; Alternative 1 would use a combination of forward-looking benchmarks coupled with a retrospective analysis of how the overall market performed in a given year.&#160; Alternative 2 would use only the forward-looking benchmark and Alternative 3 would rely solely on the retrospective market analysis.&#160; There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these, and we hope to receive robust feedback from commenters to aid the agency in making a decision among these alternatives in the final regulation. </p><p>On the goals that address affordable rental units in multifamily buildings, FHFA has asked for comments on creating a new category for small multifamily properties that have apartments affordable to low-income families.&#160; Units in these smaller apartment buildings can be an important source of affordable rental housing, but the Enterprises have had limited purchases in this market segment in recent years.&#160; Our proposed rule would create a new subgoal to provide transparency about Enterprise activity in this area, but, in an effort to take a gradual approach, we have proposed relatively low benchmarks. &#160;</p><p>Just after Labor Day, FHFA also released another proposed rulemaking involving membership requirements for the Federal Home Loan Banks.&#160; I am aware that the proposed rule has generated significant discussion within the industry, and I encourage stakeholders to submit their views during the comment period.&#160; In our role as regulator, FHFA has a responsibility to ensure that the Banks are fulfilling their mission to support housing finance and that they are doing so in a safe and sound manner that complies with their statutory requirements.&#160; To further facilitate this mission and demonstrate that members are engaged in housing finance, FHFA has proposed requiring Bank members to demonstrate ongoing mortgage lending activity instead of a one-time test used when an institution applies for membership.&#160; </p><p>In addition, FHFA has proposed clarifying the definition of insurance company in such a way that captive insurers would no longer be eligible for Bank membership.&#160; While captive insurers may, in some cases, be involved in housing finance, their access to the Federal Home Loan Bank System raises a number of concerns that are discussed in the proposed rule.&#160; We look forward to receiving your comments on both of these topics. &#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;</p><p>I hope that my comments today have helped frame some of the issues that we are currently evaluating at FHFA.&#160; As I have mentioned throughout my remarks, FHFA will consider the feedback we receive from stakeholders as part of our further evaluation of these five policy areas.&#160; Of course, as we conduct these evaluations and proceed with our decision-making process, FHFA will continue to balance its mandates of ensuring safety and soundness and ensuring broad liquidity in the housing finance markets.&#160; ​</p><p>Thank you again for inviting me to be here this evening, and I look forward to our ongoing dialogue on these important matters.&#160;&#160;</p>9/8/2014 9:46:19 PM2097http://www.fhfa.gov/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
FHFA Index Shows Mortgage Interest Rates Flat in July10895<p><strong>Washington, D.C.</strong> – Nationally, interest rates on mortgages showed little change from June to July, according to an index of new mortgage contracts. </p><p>According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes by Combined Lenders index was 4.09 percent for loans closed in late July, up 1 basis point from 4.08 percent in June. &#160;The index is calculated using FHFA's Monthly Interest Rate Survey.&#160; For June and July, the contract rate on the composite of all mortgage loans was 4.09 percent.</p><p>Interest rates are typically locked in 30-45 days before a loan is closed.&#160; Consequently, the July index reflects market rates from mid- to late-June. The effective interest rate was 4.25 percent in July, up 1 basis point from 4.24 percent in June. The effective interest rate accounts for the addition of initial fees and charges over the life of the mortgage.</p><p>For June and July, FHFA's interest rate survey shows the average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages of either $417,000 or less was 4.34 percent. The average loan amount for all loans was $287,800 in July, down $4,400 from $292,200 in June.</p><p>FHFA will release August index values Tuesday, September 30, 2014.</p><p>For more information, call David Roderer at (202) 649-3206. You can hear recorded index information by calling (202) 649-3993. You can find the complete contract rate series at <a href="/DataTools/Downloads/Pages/Monthly-Interest-Rate-Data.aspx">http&#58;//www.fhfa.gov/DataTools/Downloads/Pages/Monthly-Interest-Rate-Data.aspx</a> .</p><p style="text-align&#58;center;"><img src="/Media/PublicAffairs/PublishingImages/Pages/FHFA-Index-Shows-Mortgage-Interest-Rates-Flat-in-July/8.28.2014_MIRS_Release_Graph.png" alt="8.28.2014_MIRS_Release_Graph.png" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br></p><p style="text-align&#58;center;"><em>Source&#58;&#160; FHFA</em></p><p style="text-align&#58;left;">Technical note&#58; The index is based on a small monthly survey of mortgage lenders, which may not be representative. The sample is not a statistical sample but is rather a convenience sample. Survey respondents were asked to report terms and conditions of all conventional, single-family, fully amortized purchase-money loans closed during the last five working days of the month. The index does not include mortgages either guaranteed or insured by either the Federal Housing Administration or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The index also excluded refinancing loans and balloon loans.&#160; July 2014 values are based on 6,024 reported loans from 27 lenders, which include savings associations, mortgage companies, commercial banks, and mutual savings banks. The effective interest rate includes the amortization of initial fees and charges over a 10-year period (the historical assumption of the average life of a mortgage loan).​</p>8/28/2014 12:30:29 PM933http://www.fhfa.gov/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Housing Price Index Frequently Asked Questions11119<h2 style="text-align&#58;left;">&#160;</h2><table width="75%" class="ms-rteTable-4" bgcolor="#f1f1f1" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr class="ms-rteTableEvenRow-4"><td class="ms-rteTableEvenCol-4" style="width&#58;100%;"><h2 style="text-align&#58;center;">Table of Contents​</h2><p><a href="/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Housing-Price-Index-Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx#quest1"><font color="#276598"><strong>1. What is the value of the HPI?</strong></font></a></p><p><a href="/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Housing-Price-Index-Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx#quest2"><font color="#276598"><strong>2. What transactions are covered in the HPI?</strong></font></a></p><p><a href="/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Housing-Price-Index-Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx#quest3"><font color="#276598"><strong>3. How is the HPI computed?</strong></font></a></p><p><a href="/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Housing-Price-Index-Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx#quest4"><font color="#276598"><strong>4. How often is the HPI published?</strong></font></a></p><p><a href="/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Housing-Price-Index-Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx#quest5"><font color="#276598"><strong>5. How is the HPI updated?</strong></font></a></p><p><a href="/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Housing-Price-Index-Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx#quest6"><font color="#276598"><strong>6. How do I interpret “four-quarter,” “one-year,” “annual,” and “one-quarter” price changes?</strong></font></a></p><p><a href="/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Housing-Price-Index-Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx#quest7"><font color="#276598"><strong>7. How are Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) and Metropolitan Divisions defined and what criteria are used to determine whether an MSA index is published?</strong></font></a></p><p><a href="/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Housing-Price-Index-Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx#quest8"><font color="#276598"><strong>8. Does FHFA use the February 2013 revised Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) and Divisions?</strong></font></a></p><p><a href="/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Housing-Price-Index-Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx#quest9"><font color="#276598"><strong>9. What geographic areas are covered by the House Price Index? (revised)</strong></font></a></p><p><a href="/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Housing-Price-Index-Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx#quest10"><font color="#276598"><strong>10. What is the methodology used by FHFA in computing the Index?</strong></font></a></p><p><a href="/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Housing-Price-Index-Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx#quest11"><font color="#276598"><strong>11. How does the HPI differ from the S&amp;P/Case-Shiller® Home Price indexes?</strong></font></a></p><p><a href="/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Housing-Price-Index-Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx#quest12"><font color="#276598"><strong>12. How does the House Price Index differ from the Census Bureau’s Constant Quality House Price Index (CQHPI)?</strong></font></a></p><p><a href="/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Housing-Price-Index-Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx#quest13"><font color="#276598"><strong>13. Where can I access MSA index numbers and standard errors for each year and quarter?</strong></font></a></p><p><a href="/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Housing-Price-Index-Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx#quest14"><font color="#276598"><strong>14. What role do Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac play in the House Price Index?</strong></font></a></p><p><a href="/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Housing-Price-Index-Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx#quest15"><font color="#276598"><strong>15. Why is the HPI based on Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgages?</strong></font></a></p><p><a href="/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Housing-Price-Index-Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx#quest16"><font color="#276598"><strong>16. When are the indexes normalized in the downloadable ASCII data?</strong></font></a></p><p><a href="/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Housing-Price-Index-Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx#quest17"><font color="#276598"><strong>17. Is the HPI adjusted for inflation?</strong></font></a></p><p><a href="/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Housing-Price-Index-Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx#quest18"><font color="#276598"><strong>18. How do I use the manipulatable data (in TXT files) on the Web site to calculate appreciation rates?</strong></font></a></p><p><a href="/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Housing-Price-Index-Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx#quest19"><font color="#276598"><strong>19. How is FHFA’s House Price Index constructed for MSAs?...</strong></font></a></p><p><a href="/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Housing-Price-Index-Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx#quest20"><font color="#276598"><strong>20. How can the House Price Index for an MSA be linked to ZIP codes within that MSA?</strong></font></a></p><p><a href="/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Housing-Price-Index-Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx#quest21"><font color="#276598"><strong>21. How and why is the HPI revised each quarter?</strong></font></a></p><p><a href="/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Housing-Price-Index-Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx#quest22"><font color="#276598"><strong>22. What transaction dates are used in estimating the index?</strong></font></a></p><p><a href="/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Housing-Price-Index-Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx#quest23"><font color="#276598"><strong>23. Are foreclosure sales included in the HPI?</strong></font></a></p><p><a href="/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Housing-Price-Index-Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx#quest24"><font color="#276598"><strong>24. How are the monthly House Price Indexes calculated?</strong></font></a></p><p><a href="/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Housing-Price-Index-Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx#quest25"><font color="#276598"><strong>25. How are the Census Division and United States House Price Indexes formed?</strong></font></a></p><p><a href="/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Housing-Price-Index-Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx#quest26"><font color="#276598"><strong>26. What weights are used in forming the Census Division and United States Indexes?</strong></font></a></p><p><a href="/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Housing-Price-Index-Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx#quest27"><font color="#276598"><strong>27. For those house price indexes that are seasonally-adjusted, what approach is used in performing the seasonal adjustment?</strong></font></a></p><p><a href="/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Housing-Price-Index-Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx#quest28"><font color="#276598"><strong>28. How is the Expanded-Data HPI calculated?</strong></font></a></p><p><a href="/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Housing-Price-Index-Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx#quest29"><strong><font color="#276598">29. What is the “distress-free” index?</font></strong></a></p></td></tr></tbody></table><p><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;lucida bright&quot;, &quot;serif&quot;;font-size&#58;11pt;"><font color="#000000">&#160;</font></span></p><ol><li><strong><a name="quest1">What is the value of the House Price Index (HPI)?</a></strong><br><br>The HPI is a broad measure of the movement of single-family house prices. It serves as a timely, accurate indicator of house price trends at various geographic levels. It also provides housing economists with an analytical tool that is useful for estimating changes in the rates of mortgage defaults, prepayments and housing affordability in specific geographic areas. The HPI is a measure designed to capture changes in the value of single-family houses in the U.S. as a whole, in various regions and in smaller areas.<br><br>The HPI is published by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) using data provided by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), one of FHFA's predecessor agencies, began publishing the HPI in the fourth quarter of 1995.<br><br>&#160;</li><li><strong><a name="quest2">What transactions are covered in the HPI?</a></strong><br><br>The House Price Index is based on transactions involving conforming, conventional mortgages purchased or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Only mortgage transactions on single-family properties are included. Conforming refers to a mortgage that both meets the underwriting guidelines of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and that does not exceed the conforming loan limit. For loans originated in the first nine months of 2011, the loan limit was set by Public Law 111-242. That law, in conjunction with prior legislation, provided for loan limits up to $729,750 for one-unit properties in certain high-cost areas in the contiguous U.S. Mortgages originated after September 30, 2011 were no longer subject to the terms of prior initiatives and, under the formula established under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, the &quot;ceiling&quot; limit for one-unit properties in the contiguous U.S. fell to $625,500. The current conforming loan limit is $417,000 in most of the U.S.<br><br>Conventional mortgages are those that are neither insured nor guaranteed by the FHA, VA, or other federal government entities. Mortgages on properties financed by government-insured loans, such as FHA or VA mortgages, are excluded from the HPI, as are properties with mortgages whose principal amount exceeds the conforming loan limit. Mortgage transactions on condominiums, cooperatives, multi-unit properties, and planned unit developments are also excluded.<br><br>&#160;</li><li><strong><a name="quest3">How is the HPI computed?</a></strong><br><br>The HPI is a weighted, repeat-sales index, meaning that it measures average price changes in repeat sales or refinancings on the same properties. This information is obtained by reviewing repeat mortgage transactions on single-family properties whose mortgages have been purchased or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac since January 1975. The HPI is updated each quarter as additional mortgages are purchased or securitized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The new mortgage acquisitions are used to identify repeat transactions for the most recent quarter and for each quarter since the first quarter of 1975.<br><br>&#160;</li><li><strong><a name="quest4">How often is the HPI published?</a></strong><br><br>A comprehensive report is published every three months, approximately two months after the end of the previous quarter. Beginning in March 2008, OFHEO (one of FHFA's predecessor agencies) began publishing monthly indexes for census divisions and the&#160;U.S. FHFA continues publishing and updating these indexes each month.<br><br>&#160;</li><li><strong><a name="quest5">How is the HPI updated?</a></strong><br><br>Each month, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac provide FHFA with information on their most recent mortgage transactions. These data are combined with the data from previous periods to establish price differentials on properties where more than one mortgage transaction has occurred. The data are merged, creating an updated historical database that is then used to estimate the HPI.<br><br>&#160;</li><li><strong><a name="quest6">How do I interpret &quot;four-quarter,&quot; &quot;one-year,&quot; &quot;annual,&quot; and &quot;one-quarter&quot; price changes?</a></strong><br><br>The &quot;four-quarter&quot; percentage change in home values is simply the price change relative to the same quarter one year earlier. For example, if the HPI release is for the second quarter, then the &quot;four-quarter&quot; price change reports the percentage change in values relative to the second quarter of the prior year. It reflects the best estimate for how much the value of a typical property increased over the four-quarter period (FAQ #2 reports the types of properties included in this estimate). &quot;One-year&quot; and &quot;annual&quot; appreciation are used synonymously with &quot;four-quarter&quot; appreciation in the full quarterly HPI releases.<br><br>Similar to the &quot;four-quarter&quot; price changes, the &quot;one-quarter&quot; percentage change estimates the percentage change in home values relative to the prior quarter. Please note that, in estimating the quarterly price index, all observations within a given quarter are pooled together; no distinction is made between transactions occurring in different months. As such, the &quot;four-quarter&quot; and &quot;one-quarter&quot; changes compare typical values throughout a quarter against valuations during a prior quarter. The appreciation rates do not compare values at the end of a quarter against values at the end of a prior quarter.<br><br>&#160;</li><li><strong><a name="quest7">How are Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) and Metropolitan Divisions defined and what criteria are used to determine whether an MSA index is published?</a></strong><br><br>MSAs are defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). If specified criteria are met and an MSA contains a single core population greater than 2.5 million, the MSA is divided into Metropolitan Divisions. The following MSAs have been divided into<br><br>Metropolitan Divisions&#58; Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH; Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI; Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX; Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI; Los Angeles- Long Beach-Anaheim, CA; Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL; New York- Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA; Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD; San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA; Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA; Washington- Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV. For these MSAs, FHFA reports data for each Division, rather than the MSA as a whole.<br><br>FHFA requires that an MSA (or Metropolitan Division) must have at least 1,000 total transactions before it may be published. Additionally, an MSA or Division must have had at least 10 transactions in any given quarter for that quarterly value to be published.<br><br>Blanks are displayed where this criterion is not met.<br><br>&#160;</li><li><strong><a name="quest8">Does FHFA use the February 2013 revised Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) and Divisions?</a></strong><br><br>Yes, FHFA uses the revised Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) and Divisions as defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in February 2013. These MSAs and Divisions are based on Census data. According to OMB, an MSA comprises the central county or counties containing the core, plus adjacent outlying counties having a high degree of social and economic integration with the central county as measured through commuting. For information about the current MSAs, please visit&#58; <a href="http&#58;//www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/bulletins/2013/b-13-01.pdf"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/bulletins/2013/b-13-01.pdf</span></a>.<br><br>Prior to the second quarterly release in 2013, FHFA produced metropolitan area indexes based on the December 2009 delineations provided by the OMB at <a href="http&#58;//www.whitehouse.gov/omb/assets/bulletins/b10-02.pdf"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//www.whitehouse.gov/omb/assets/bulletins/b10-02.pdf</span></a>. That quarter's Highlights piece explains the transition from the December 2009 to the February 2013 definitions. HPIs constructed from both the 2009 and 2013 delineations are available on the Downloadable Data page under the &quot;Additional Data&quot; section then the &quot;Utility Files and Background Information for Index Construction&quot; subsection.<br><br>&#160;</li><li><strong><a name="quest9">What geographic areas are covered by the House Price Index?</a></strong><br><br>The HPI includes indexes for all nine census divisions, the 50 states and the District of Columbia, and every Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in the U.S., excluding Puerto Rico. OMB recognizes 381 MSAs, 11 of which are subdivided into a total of 31 Metropolitan Divisions. As noted earlier, FHFA produces indexes for the divisions where they are available, in lieu of producing a single index for the MSA. In total, 401 indexes are released&#58; 370 for the MSAs that do not have Metropolitan Divisions and 31 Division indexes. The starting dates for indexes differ and are determined by a minimum transaction threshold; index values are not provided for periods before at least 1,000 transactions have been accumulated.<br><br>In each release, FHFA publishes rankings and quarterly, annual, and five-year rates of changes for the MSAs and Metropolitan Divisions that have at least 15,000 transactions over the prior 10 years. In this release, 276 MSAs and Metropolitan Divisions satisfy this criterion. For the remaining areas, MSAs and Divisions, one-year and five-year rates of change are provided.<br><br>&#160;</li><li><strong><a name="quest10">What is the methodology used by FHFA in computing the Index?</a></strong><br><br>The methodology is a modified version of the Case-Shiller® geometric weighted repeat- sales procedure. A detailed description of the HPI methodology is available upon request from FHFA at (202) 649-3195 or online at&#58; <a href="http&#58;//go.usa.gov/8BBT"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//go.usa.gov/8BBT</span></a>.<br><br>&#160;</li><li><strong><a name="quest11">How does the HPI differ from the S&amp;P/Case-Shiller® Home Price indexes?</a></strong><br><br>Although both indexes employ the same fundamental repeat-valuations approach, there are a number of data and methodology differences. Among the dissimilarities&#58;</li><ol><li>The S&amp;P/Case-Shiller indexes only use purchase prices in index calibration, while the all-transactions HPI also includes refinance appraisals. FHFA's purchase-only series is restricted to purchase prices, as are the S&amp;P/Case- Shiller indexes.</li><li>FHFA's valuation data are derived from conforming, conventional mortgages provided by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The S&amp;P/Case-Shiller indexes use information obtained from county assessor and recorder offices.</li><li>The S&amp;P/Case-Shiller indexes are value-weighted, meaning that price trends for more expensive homes have greater influence on estimated price changes than other homes. FHFA's index weights price trends equally for all properties.</li><li>The geographic coverage of the indexes differs. The S&amp;P/Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, for example, does not have valuation data from 13 states. FHFA's U.S. index is calculated using data from all states.<br><br>For details on these and other differences, consult the HPI Technical Description (see <a href="http&#58;//go.usa.gov/8BBT"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//go.usa.gov/8BBT</span></a>) and the S&amp;P/Case-Shiller methodology materials (see <a href="http&#58;//us.spindices.com/documents/methodologies/methodology-sp-cs-home-price-indices.pdf"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//us.spindices.com/documents/methodologies/methodology-sp-cs-home-price-indices.pdf</span></a>).<br><br>A paper that analyzes in detail the methodological and data differences between the two price metrics can be accessed at <a href="http&#58;//go.usa.gov/8BBJ"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//go.usa.gov/8BBJ</span></a>.<br><br>&#160;</li></ol><li><strong><a name="quest12">How does the House Price Index differ from the Census Bureau's Constant Quality House Price Index (CQHPI)?</a></strong><br><br>The HPI published by FHFA covers far more transactions than the Commerce Department survey. The CQHPI covers sales of new homes and homes for sale, based on a sample of about 14,000 transactions annually, gathered through monthly surveys.<br><br>The quarterly all-transactions HPI is based on more than 51 million repeat transaction pairs over 39 years. This gives a more accurate reflection of current property values than the Commerce Department index. The HPI also can be updated efficiently using data collected by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the normal course of their business activity.<br><br>&#160;</li><li><strong><a name="quest13">Where can I access MSA index numbers and standard errors for each year and quarter?</a></strong><br><br>In addition to the information displayed in the MSA tables, FHFA makes available MSA indexes and standard errors. The data are available in ASCII format and may be accessed at <a href="http&#58;//go.usa.gov/8kXz"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//go.usa.gov/8kXz</span></a>.<br><br>&#160;</li><li><strong><a name="quest14">What role do Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac play in the House Price Index?</a></strong><br><br>FHFA uses data supplied by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in compiling the HPI. Each of the Enterprises had previously created a weighted repeat-transactions index based on property matches within its own database. In the first quarter of 1994, Freddie Mac began publishing the Conventional Mortgage Home Price Index (CMHPI). The CMHPI was jointly developed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The CMHPI series covers the period 1970 to the present.<br><br>&#160;</li><li><strong><a name="quest15">Why is the HPI based on Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgages?</a></strong><br><br>FHFA has access to this information by virtue of its role as the federal regulator responsible for these government-sponsored enterprises. Chartered by Congress for the purpose of creating a reliable supply of mortgage funds for homebuyers, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the largest mortgage finance institutions in the U.S. representing a significant share of total outstanding mortgages.<br><br>&#160;</li><li><strong><a name="quest16">When are the indexes normalized in the downloadable ASCII data?</a></strong><br><br>The ASCII data for metropolitan areas are normalized to the first quarter of 1995. That is, the HPI equals 100 for all MSAs in the first quarter of 1995. States and divisions are normalized to 100 in the first quarter of 1980. The purchase-only indexes are normalized to 100 in the first quarter of 1991. Note that normalization dates do not affect measured appreciation rates.<br><br>&#160;</li><li><strong><a name="quest17">Is the HPI adjusted for inflation?</a></strong><br><br>No, the HPI is not adjusted for inflation. For inflation adjustments, one can use the Consumer Price Index &quot;All Items Less Shelter&quot; series. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' price index series ID# CUUR0000SA0L2, for example, has tracked non-shelter consumer prices since the 1930s. That series and others can be downloaded at&#58; <a href="http&#58;//data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/srgate"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/srgate</span></a>.</li><li><strong><a name="quest18">How do I use the manipulatable data (in TXT files) on the website to calculate appreciation rates?</a></strong><br><br>The index numbers alone (for census divisions and U.S., individual states, and MSAs) do not have significance. They have meaning in relation to previous or future index numbers, because you can use them to calculate appreciation rates using the formula below.<br><br>To calculate appreciation between any 2 quarters, use the formula&#58;<br><br>(QUARTER 2 INDEX NUMBER - QUARTER 1 INDEX NUMBER) / QUARTER 1 INDEX NUMBER<br><br>You can generate annual numbers by taking the four quarter average for each year or monthly numbers by finding the difference between two months.<br><br>&#160;</li><li><strong><a name="quest19">How is FHFA's House Price Index constructed for MSAs? The website says that FHFA uses the 2013 definitions based on the 2010 Census to define each MSA. Is this true for all time periods covered by each index? Or do the definitions change over time as the Census expanded its MSA definitions? For example, if the definition of an MSA added three counties between 1980 and 2000, would the value of the index in 1980 cover the three counties that were not included in the 1980 SMSA definition?</a></strong><br><br>The HPI is recomputed historically each quarter. The MSA definition used to compute the 1982 (for example) index value in Anchorage, AK would be the most recent definition. The series is comparable backwards.<br><br>&#160;</li><li><strong><a name="quest20">How can the House Price Index for an MSA be linked to zip codes within that MSA?</a></strong><br><br>FHFA does not publish house price indexes for specific ZIP codes. Researchers are sometimes interested in associating the MSA-level index with specific ZIP codes, however.<br><br>&#160;<br>Because ZIP codes sometimes overlap county boundaries, a single ZIP code can be located partially inside and outside of a Metropolitan Area. Thus, the development of a crosswalk between ZIP codes and Metropolitan Areas is not a straightforward exercise. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has released a lookup table that maps ZIP codes to the Metropolitan Area(s) that they fall within. That lookup file, as well as a discussion of the underlying technical issues, can be found here&#58; <a href="http&#58;//www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/usps_crosswalk.html"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/usps_crosswalk.html</span></a>.<br><br>&#160;</li><li><strong><a name="quest21">How and why is the HPI revised each quarter?</a></strong><br><br>Historical estimates of the HPI revise for three primary reasons&#58;</li><ol><li>The HPI is based on repeat transactions. That is, the estimates of appreciation are based on repeated valuations of the same property over time. Therefore, each time a property &quot;repeats&quot; in the form of a sale or refinance, average appreciation since the prior sale/refinance period is influenced.<br><br>&#160;</li><li>Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) purchase seasoned loans, providing new information about prior quarters.<br><br>&#160;</li><li>Due to a 30- to 45-day lag time from loan origination to Enterprise funding, FHFA receives data on new fundings for one additional month following the last month of the quarter. These fundings contain many loans originating in that most recent quarter, and especially the last month of the quarter. This will reduce with subsequent revisions, however data on loans purchased with a longer lag, including seasoned loans, will continue to generate revisions, especially for the most recent quarters.<br><br>&#160;<br><br>In connection with the release of the 2012Q2 HPI results, a special revision was made to two historical HPI values. In prior releases, the all-transactions index values for Vermont-1976Q1 and West Virginia-1982Q1 were both reported to be 100.01. Those values were not correct; index values for those respective periods should have been set to missing because no modeling data were available in the underlying sample. The HPI releases for 2012Q2 and later periods reflect the change.<br><br>&#160;</li></ol><li><strong><a name="quest22">What transaction dates are used in estimating the index?</a></strong><br><br>For model estimation, the loan origination date is used as the relevant transaction date.<br><br>&#160;</li><li><strong><a name="quest23">Are foreclosure sales included in the HPI?</a></strong><br><br>Transactions that merely represent title transfers to lenders will not appear in the data. Once lenders take possession of foreclosed properties, however, the subsequent sale to the public can appear in the data. As with any other property sale, the sales information will be in FHFA's data if the buyer purchases the property with a loan that is bought or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.<br><br>&#160;</li><li><strong><a name="quest24">How are the monthly House Price Indexes calculated?</a></strong><br><br>&#160;<br><br>The monthly indexes are calculated in the same way the quarterly indexes are constructed, except transactions from the same quarter are no longer aggregated. To construct the quarterly index, all transactions from the same quarter are aggregated and index values are estimated using the assigned quarters. In the monthly indexing model, all transactions for the same month are aggregated and separate index values are estimated for each month.</li><li><strong><a name="quest25">How are the Census Division and U.S. House Price Indexes formed?</a></strong><br><br>As discussed in the Highlights article accompanying the 2011Q1 HPI Release (available for download at <a href="http&#58;//go.usa.gov/8k5d"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//go.usa.gov/8k5d</span></a>), the census division indexes are constructed from statistics for the component states. For the quarterly all-transactions and purchase-only indexes, the census division indexes are constructed from quarterly growth rate estimates for the underlying state indexes. Census division index estimates are &quot;built-up&quot; from quarterly growth rate estimates (monthly growth rates for the monthly index) for the component states.<br><br>The census division indexes are set equal to 100 in the relevant base periods. Then, the index values for subsequent periods are increased (or decreased) by the weighted average quarterly (or monthly) price change for the underlying states. Index values for periods before the base period are calculated in a similar fashion; beginning with the base period value, the preceding index values are sequentially determined so that the growth rate in each period always reflects the weighted average growth rate for the component states.<br><br>The national HPI is constructed in an analogous fashion, except that the weighted components are census divisions. Because the census divisions measures are themselves weighted averages of state metrics, the U.S. index is equivalent to a state- weighted metric.<br><br>&#160;</li><li><strong><a name="quest26">What weights are used in forming the Census Division and U.S. Indexes?</a></strong><br><br>The weights used in constructing the indexes are estimates for the shares of one-unit detached properties in each state. For years in which decennial census data are available, the share from the relevant census is used. For intervening years, a state's share is the weighted average of the relevant shares in the prior and subsequent censuses, where the weights are changed by ten percentage points each year. For example, California's share of the housing stock for 1982 is calculated as 0.8 times its share in the 1980 census plus 0.2 times its share in the 1990 census. For 1983, the Pacific Division's share is 0.7 times its 1980 share plus 0.3 times its 1990 share.<br><br>For years since 2000, state shares are calculated as follows&#58;</li><ul><li>For the 2001-2005 interval, shares are straight-line interpolated based on the state shares in the 2000 decennial Census and the 2005 values from the American Community Survey (ACS).</li><li>For 2006-2012, the estimates are from the annual ACS.</li><li>Until 2013 ACS estimates become available, shares from the 2012 ACS are used for subsequent periods.<br><br>The year-specific estimates of the state shares of U.S. detached housing stock can be accessed at <a href="http&#58;//go.usa.gov/8k5F"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//go.usa.gov/8k5F</span></a>.<br><br><strong></strong></li></ul><li><strong><a name="quest27">For those house price indexes that are seasonally adjusted, what approach is used in performing the seasonal adjustment?</a></strong><br><br>The Census Bureau's X-12 ARIMA procedure is used, as implemented in the SAS software package. The automated ARIMA model-selection algorithm in X-12 is employed, which searches through a series of seasonality structures and selects the first that satisfies the Ljung-Box test for serial correlation.<br><br>&#160;<br><br>To obtain more information on the HPI contact us via the Data and Research Contact page at <a href="http&#58;//go.usa.gov/8kN3"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//go.usa.gov/8kN3</span></a>.<br><br>&#160;</li><li><strong><a name="quest28">How is the Expanded-Data HPI calculated?</a></strong><br><br>The approach to estimating the expanded-data HPI is detailed in the Highlights article published with the 2011Q2 HPI at <a href="http&#58;//go.usa.gov/8kNm"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//go.usa.gov/8kNm</span></a>. In general, the methodology is the same as is used in the construction of the standard purchase-only HPI, except a supplemented dataset is used for estimation. The augmented data include sales price information from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages as well as two new information sources&#58; (1) transactions records for houses with mortgages endorsed by FHA and (2) county recorder data licensed from CoreLogic. The licensed county recorder data do not include records in many U.S. counties—particularly rural ones. To ensure that the addition of the CoreLogic data to the estimation sample does not unduly bias index estimates toward price trends in urban areas, the expanded-data index for certain states is estimated by weighting price trends in areas with CoreLogic coverage and other areas. Details on this sub-area weighting can be found in the text of the Highlights piece referenced above.<br><br>&#160;</li><li><strong><a name="quest29">What is the &quot;distress-free&quot; index?</a></strong><br><br>FHFA released a &quot;distress-free&quot; HPI in 2012Q2 along with the Highlights article at <a href="http&#58;//go.usa.gov/8kNJ"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//go.usa.gov/8kNJ</span></a>. The index is a version of the purchase-only index that removes short sales and sales of bank-owned properties from the transactions data used to compute that traditional index. The index is still in a developmental stage. An analysis of how distressed sales affect the FHFA HPI is provided in an FHFA Working Paper released August 2013 at <a href="http&#58;//go.usa.gov/8kRB"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//go.usa.gov/8kRB</span></a>.</li>&#160;</ol><p style="text-align&#58;left;text-indent&#58;0pt;padding-left&#58;5pt;">&#160;<a href="/Media/PublicAffairs/PublicAffairsDocuments/FAQs8262014.pdf">8/26/2014 FAQs (PDF)</a> </p>9/23/2014 5:14:47 PM5175http://www.fhfa.gov/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx

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