The mortgage industry has been bracing for substantial increases in the price of loans in 2014.
"If these [policies] had been implemented, it would have increased borrowing costs dramatically," said David Stevens, CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association.
The hit for individual borrowers would depend on the amount of the home purchase being financed, according to Brian Koss, executive vice president at Massachusetts-based lender Mortgage Network.
Borrowers would have paid a fee when they took out the loan, or they could have effectively rolled the higher fees into their interest rate, raising monthly mortgage payments by as much as a quarter percentage point.
Even with the reversal, however, mortgages will probably get more expensive over the next few months anyway as the Federal Reserve cuts back on its purchases of mortgage backed securities, a program designed to keep interest rates low.
Stevens, the mortgage industry representative, said the proposed increases made little sense. Defaults on mortgages made in recent years have been much lower than on those made before the housing crash.
As a result, Fannie and Freddie are flush with profits, so much so that they have already returned almost all of their $187 billion taxpayer-funded bailout.
"The GSEs are making a lot of money," said Stevens. "There's no rationale for the increases."