Fannie vs. Freddie

The price wars between government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae continue to benefit borrowers well into the fourth quarter, with each agency picking its spots to steal market share from the other. Freddie Mac’s Capital Markets Execution (CME) program continues to win more converts. The fixed rates offered by the CME program were on par with Fannie Mae’s MBS pricing as of early October, with rates in the mid-5 percent range for 10-year deals. But on shorter-term loans, Fannie seems to have the advantage over Freddie. While both GSEs are taking a tougher stance on shorter-term loans, underwriting conservatively, and pricing widely, Fannie Mae is offering rates about 40 basis points (bps) inside of Freddie on five-year deals. —Jerry Ascierto

Change of Guard

Phil Weber has left his post as head of Fannie Mae’s multifamily division to become an executive vice president at Austin, Texas-based Forestar Group. Weber had been at Fannie Mae since 1990, serving in a variety of roles before being named senior vice president of multifamily in 2006. Michele Evans and Heidi McKibben will serve as interim heads of Fannie Mae’s multifamily division. “We wish Phil all the best in his new endeavor,” said Ken Bacon, Fannie Mae’s executive vice president of housing and community development, in a statement. That new endeavor will be to help grow residential developer Forestar Group by identifying and developing business opportunities and capitalizing on the company’s existing multifamily projects and assets. —Jerry Ascierto

Fresh Faces

New CFOs will be taking the reins at Memphis, Tenn.-based Mid-America Apartment Communities and San Francisco-based BRE Properties. When BRE CFO Henry Hirvela resigned last November after only six months on the job, COO Ed Lange temporarily took over. Now, John Schissel, previously CFO for office REIT Carr Properties, will be taking the helm. At Mid-America, the REIT has been preparing for longtime CFO Simon Wadsworth’s departure for three years. Current executive vice president and treasurer Al Campbell will become CFO in January 2010. —Les Shaver

Spending Spree

Dallas-based Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT made a big splash this fall. In October, it added the 140-unit Redwood Lofts in Marina del Rey, Calif., through a strategic alliance with Phoenix-based Alliance Residential. Additionally, in September, the REIT bought four deals totaling 1,389 units. The buys include 390 units at Waterford Place in Dublin, Calif.; 253 units at Mariposa Loft Apartments in Atlanta; 438 units at The Gallery at NoHo Commons in Los Angeles; and 308 units at Burrough’s Mill Apartment Homes in Cherry Hill, N.J. Behringer Harvard continues to keep looking. The REIT has investments in approximately 15 multifamily communities in nine states. —Les Shaver