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Winning Bidders Selected for REO-to-Rentals Initiative

Winning Bidders Selected for REO-to-Rentals Initiative

07/03/2012 By: Esther Cho

The winning bidders for the REO-to-rental pilot initiative have been selected and the deals are expected to close in the early third quarter, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced Tuesday.

The pilot program was first launched in February in select markets where inventory is high and rentals are in demand.

Investors interested in bidding for properties were asked to submit an application to qualify and were evaluated based on factors including financial ability, asset management experience, property management expertise, and familiarity with select locations. There were about 2,500 single-family Fannie Mae owned REOs up for sale through the program.

“FHFA undertook this initiative to help stabilize communities and home values in areas hard-hit by the foreclosure crisis,” said Edward J. DeMarco, Acting Director of FHFA. “As conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, we believe this pilot program will assist us in achieving our objectives and help to maximize the benefit to taxpayers. We are pleased with the response from the market and look forward to closing transactions in the near future.”

The program did face opposition in California, where 19 of the state’s lawmakers urged DeMarco to exclude California from the program. The lawmakers and the California Association of Realtors argued that the program would only further depress the housing market and said housing inventory is low throughout the state. Riverside and Los Angeles were two of the markets selected for the program.

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