Federal mortgage agency Fannie Mae bought fewer mortgages to American Indians and Alaska Natives during 2016, according to a report it made to Congress and its regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Board, and the Indian share of its total mortgage purchase volume fell to one third of one percent.
Fannie Mae’s Indian share improved somewhat for low-income mortgages. It achieved an Indian share of 0.62 percent for refinances and 0.42 percent for low-income area purchase mortgages.
It also has played a crucial role in bringing mortgage finance to Indian reservations. Fannie Mae negotiated and signed an important memorandum of understanding with the Navajo Nation in the 1990s to bring the secondary mortgage market to Indian tribes for the first time.
Fannie Mae’s annual report tallied $1.63 billion of purchases through 7,740 mortgages made to Indians or Alaska Natives last year. The agency does not directly lend to borrowers but buys mortgages made by originators, creating a secondary market that allows lenders to make additional mortgages with the purchase money they get from Fannie Mae.
Indians comprised 0.33 percent of Fannie Mae’s total volume, well below their percentage of the national population.
The overall mortgage market increased between 2015 and 2016, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. It estimated nationwide mortgage volume at $1.9 trillion in 2016, up from $1.6 trillion in 2015.
Fannie Mae purchased 10,734 mortgages made to Indians in 2015 with an unpaid principal balance of $2.45 billion, the agency reported last year. That was 0.55 percent of its total volume, again below Indian representation in the national population.
In 2014 it bought 11,666 mortgages to Indians with an unpaid principal balance of $2.5 billion, 0.69 percent of its total.
Fannie bought nearly as many mortgages made to Native Hawaiians in 2016, 7,214, as to Indians. The unpaid principal balance of loans to Native Hawaiians was actually larger, at $2 billion. Native Hawaiian volumes were up from 2015, when the agency bought 5,793 mortgages to Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders (these include Natives of Guam and American Samoa) in 2015. That made for a total of $1.5 billion in home finance.
Adding American Indian and Native Hawaiian totals together, the agency bought 15,000 mortgages to Natives in 2016, with total financing of $3.6 billion.
Average loan amount for Indians was about $210,000, while for Native Hawaiians it was higher at about $275,000.
Fannie Mae’s report did not distinguish between mortgages made to Indians on or off reservation.
The split between homes purchased and homes refinanced in 2016 for Natives was won by refis. There were 4,806 American Indian homes refinanced for a total of $974 million and 2.940 homes purchased last year, a total of $673 million. Native Hawaiians had 3,645 home loans refinanced and 2,148 purchased in 2015.
The Native Hawaiian share of Fannie Mae’s purchases was 0.31 percent last year. Low income shares were modestly higher, at 0.36 percent for low income area purchase mortgages and 0.39 percent for low income refinancings.