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U.S. Housing Finance Agencies Navigate Pandemic Pressures With Credit Quality Intact

U.S. housing finance agencies (HFAs) proved nimble and resilient during the pandemic, with stable ratings and generally improving key credit metrics, S&P Global Ratings says in a series of reports just published.

In 2020, HFAs faced challenges created by protections enacted to keep families in their homes and saw rising loan delinquency rates and shrinking profitability. In response, agencies' experienced staffs adapted as needed to COVID-19 pandemic pressures while maintaining their mission-driven lending operations. The combination of HFAs' financial strength gained since the Great Recession and federal relief designed to assist homeowners and renters financially affected by COVID-19 somewhat insulated agencies from near-term financial pressures related to the pandemic.

"Even as loan performance generally remained weaker than in 2019, certain HFAs emerged from 2020 in some ways even stronger than in pre-pandemic times," according to S&P Global Ratings credit analyst and public finance housing sector lead Marian Zucker. "Equity and assets reached record highs and asset-liability ratios for single and multifamily programs remained stable and improved, respectively. As the country began to recover from the initial waves of coronavirus, housing affordability worsened, challenging HFAs' ability to assist first-time homeowners priced out of the market while making their products even more necessary."

Read our three reports published today:

This report does not constitute a rating action.

Primary Credit Analyst:Marian Zucker, New York + 1 (212) 438 2150;

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