Fannie Mae says that nearly one in five consumers who responded to its advertising, last November had bought homes by June 1994.
The agency is using a broadcast, print, and direct mail campaign to publicize its toll-free number for potential homeowners. Callers get a guide on how to qualify for a mortgage.
Among consumers who identified themselves as likely homebuyers and received Fannie Mae's homebuying guide, twice as many actually bought a home as another group of likely homebuyers separately tracked by the agency who did not call.
So far, 170,000 consumers have called the toll-free number.
Of those who requested information, 52% were white, 26% were black, and 15%, Hispanic.
Fannie Mae said that 65% of the buyers it surveyed were white; 11%, black; and 10%, Hispanic.
"It shows that information can make a difference but is not the only factor" in expanding homeownership, said spokesman Tom Marder of Fannie Mae.
"Discrimination, appraisal issues, and income disparities" each play a role, he said.
The agency did not say how many homebuyers it surveyed were low- or moderate-income borrowers - the groups it aims to help.