Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Becoming Large Landlords

According to this Forbes article, Meet Your Landlords: Fannie And Freddie, collectively Fannie and Freddie own 1 out of every 9 foreclosed properties with Fannie owing 64,000 single family homes and Freddie 29,000. The article mentions that foreclosures are going to accelerate due to the moratorium on foreclosures being lifted. Both GSE's are working on greatly increasing loan modifications and programs that allow foreclosed former homeowners to remain in the properties as tenants. The article mentions that this landlord role may be difficult for Fannie and Freddie. Also, the article quotes Rick Sharga, Vice President of RealtyTrac, as saying that Fannie and Freddie will need to seize more properties as prime conforming loans start to default more. He goes on to say that the rental programs may help the housing market by preventing a flood of foreclosures from entering the market at the same time. While I agree that there will be more foreclosure, I disagree that holding back foreclosures is a good idea. Americans need this problem to end now. Fannie, Freddie and private banks need to just dump the properties now and push down prices to get the market to hit bottom ASAP so that people can feel confident that the worst is over. This continuous market meddling is dragging this nightmare out far too long.

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