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LOS ANGELES (Sept. 4) – The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) today released “Fannie and Freddie: Why They Matter to You,” a new video featuring C.A.R. Executive Vice President Joel Singer. A former economist, Singer is a real estate industry veteran and has held the Association's top staff position since 1989.

In “Fannie and Freddie: Why They Matter to You,” Singer explains the often confusing but critical role Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac play in the housing market.

“California’s housing and real estate market is currently in a precarious state,” Singer said. “We have just recently begun to see an increase in home sales, and the most significant, reliable source of home loans in California today are either financed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Their role is to provide continuous and competitively priced capital to the mortgage markets in both up and down markets and to promote homeownership and affordability.

“When private lenders have not been able to participate in the market, Fannie and Freddie historically have been there,” he said. “They’ve been there with affordable mortgages and they’ve also been there with innovative programs, particularly for low-income and first-time buyers.”

C.A.R. is concerned that the critical countercyclical role which Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are currently playing in today’s housing market often is misunderstood or misrepresented. C.A.R. is urging lawmakers to support Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in their current role, and to urge the U.S. Treasury Dept. to exercise restraint in its new authority to purchase equity in Fannie and Freddie.

“If Fannie and Freddie were not in the marketplace, we would see a disastrous loss in housing activity,” Singer said. “That loss would extend to the economy, and opportunities for homeownership would be very much reduced. Wall Street and financial institutions have long seen Freddie and Fannie as competitors. They’re able to charge much more in those areas where Fannie and Freddie can’t participate -- for example, high-cost loans.

“Consumers need to keep involved in the political process and the public policy process and urge their elected representatives to be supportive of Fannie and Freddie,” he said. “Simply put, California’s housing market needs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to continue in their current role of guarantying a constant and reliable supply of capital.”

To view the complete video interview with Joel Singer, go to http://www.car.org/newsstand/video-js-gse or YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/v/6LDnKk-ZSiA. Singer also is available for interviews by calling C.A.R.’s Media Relations Dept. at (213) 739-8304.

Leading the way...® in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States, with nearly 175,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

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