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Fed Continues Support for Mortgage Lending

FOMC statement indicates agency MBS purchases of $1.25 trillion

Sept. 23, 2009

By MortgageDaily.com staff


The Federal Reserve will continue its steps to support mortgage lending, though at a slower pace.

In a Federal Open Market Committee statement today, the fed said economic activity has picked up and conditions in the financial markets have improved further. In addition, inflation remains in check.

"Although economic activity is likely to remain weak for a time, the committee anticipates that policy actions to stabilize financial markets and institutions, fiscal and monetary stimulus, and market forces will support a strengthening of economic growth and a gradual return to higher levels of resource utilization in a context of price stability," the fed said.

The statement indicated that the federal funds rate target will be kept at between 0.0 percent and 0.25 percent.

The government plans to maintain support for the mortgage and housing markets by purchasing $1.25 trillion in agency mortgage-backed securities, according to the announcement. The purchases are also expected to improved overall conditions in private credit markets.

In addition, $200 billion in agency debt will be purchased by the fed.

"The committee will gradually slow the pace of these purchases in order to promote a smooth transition in markets and anticipates that they will be executed by the end of the first quarter of 2010," the fed stated. "The committee will continue to evaluate the timing and overall amounts of its purchases of securities in light of the evolving economic outlook and conditions in financial markets."

The fed had previously expected to complete the purchases by the end of this year.

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