The company saw a net income of $8.6bn for the fourth quarter and a 2013 profit of $48.7bn, according to a Bloomberg report. Freddie’s profit was driven in large part by rising home prices, but officials said not to expect such large windfalls every year, Bloomberg reported.
“These levels of income are not sustainable,” Freddie Mac Chief Executive Officer Donald Layton said during a Thursday conference call with reporters. “Several legacy items were very strongly favorable in 2013, but it is our expectation that the peak of recoveries from the recession has now passed.”
Freddie’s 2013 profit means both it and Fannie Mae will have paid back the billions of dollars in government money they got after teetering on the brink of insolvency during the financial meltdown. Earlier this month, Fannie announced it would pay the Treasury $7.2bn in March after reporting a $6.5bn Q4 profit.
And even now that the bailout funds are repaid, the money will keep rolling in. The government didn’t exactly loan the GSEs $187.5bn – it took shares of “senior preferred stock.” Which means that Fannie and Freddie still owe the government all their profits as dividend payments.
Freddie Mac will return $10.4bn to the Treasury Department next month, bringing the mortgage finance giants total payments to the government to about $10bn more than what it received in bailout funds in 2008.