Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are sure to be among the winners in any major restructuring of the Federal Housing Administration's mortgage programs, stock analysts believe.
They see the potential changes as a powerful volume builder for the government-sponsored housing agencies if what would have been FHA loans are diverted to Fannie and Freddie.
Bruce Harting of Salomon Brothers said the reshaping of the FHA made a lot of sense in terms of the Administration's objectives. "There has been pressure inside the Beltway to cut the budget," he said. "And HUD has been pushing Fannie and Freddie for more affordable housing. At the same time, they have been trying to expand the scope of the FHA. At best this is duplication, and at worst, a waste of taxpayers' money."
Mr. Harting added Fannie Mae's "Finding a New Way Home" program to expand homeownership appeared to be designed to lure loans away from the FHA and could be providing a model for the plan the President will propose.
Jonathan Gray, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., agreed Fannie and Freddie stood to benefit from a reform of the FHA. But he declined to comment further, saying he planned a broadcast to clients on the subject on Wednesday afternoon.
Shares of Fannie and Freddie both rose about 4% Wednesday in heavy trading. Both companies declined to comment on the FHA proposals.