Freddie’s REO Programs

From the reoinsider:

Chris Bowden, vice president of the Freddie Mac HomeSteps department, which manages the government sponsored enterprises’ (GSE) REO inventory, said stabilizing neighborhoods will depend on getting first-time homebuyers to buy REO.

In a features perspectives published Tuesday on the Freddie website, Bowden said Freddie’s inventory of REO has tripled over the past two years to more than 62,000 properties. The weight of these properties has had a “significant impact” on home prices in these communities, but selling to owner-occupants can reverse the damage and restore neighborhoods.

“Currently, more than two-thirds of our REO sales are to owner-occupants. Most of our marketing and sales strategies are geared toward attracting owner-occupants, and include incentives for both the real estate agents and prospective homebuyers,” Bowden writes.

The Freddie Mac SmartBuy sales promotion offers owner-occupant buyers a two-year home warranty and closing-cost assistance when they buy a HomeSteps REO. Bowden wrote that its partnership with nonprofit organizations and the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) is putting on auctions targeting first-time homebuyers. In the first one, 200 owner-occupants bought homes in Las Vegas and in Riverside and San Bernardino counties in California. Another 72 owner-occupant buyers purchased homes in the second auction in Phoenix.

In some ZIP Codes, HomeSteps offers REO homes for sale to these owner-occupants through nonprofits before the property is listed for sale on the multiple listing service (MLS). 

But owner-occupants are attracted to properties that have been repaired and restored since the foreclosure. Freddie’s “Good Neighbor” property preservation policies require that the home is “secured, preserved and cleaned” within three business days of the property is deemed vacant. Neighboring properties receive door hangers containing contact information for any interested homebuyers or for someone concerned about the REO in their community.

Approximately 50 percent of the homes that Freddie Mac acquires have occupants – either owners or tenants. In March 2009, they introduced the Freddie Mac Rental Initiative to offer qualified former owner-occupants and tenants month-to-month leases for homes where they live that are now owned by Freddie Mac.

Here is the list of the 338 Freddie-owned properties in SD County – most are somewhat inferior:


The sales prices listed are what the previous owner paid, usually about 50% ago.

SD’s 13-Month Streak Broken

The sky will really be falling now.

The S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index for San Diego dropped from May’s 163.78 to 163.27 in June for seasonally-adjusted numbers, breaking the 13-month streak of slight increases – though the non-seasonally adjusted went up from 163.11 to 163.82.  Here is a link to their site.

The S&P’s Dave Blitzer had the standard negative slant on cnbc.com:

“Given the way home sales collapsed in July and given the boost in housing activity across the board in the second quarter, it’s clear this may have been the calm before the storm,” David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P, told CNBC.

S&P, which publishes the indexes, also said home prices nationally rose 4.4 percent in the second quarter after a 2.8 percent drop in the first quarter.

Prices rose in 17 of the 20 metro areas in June, S&P said, adding that in the first half of the year 15 of the 20 areas had positive annual growth rates. The housing market is in better shape than a year ago, S&P said.

“The worry starts when you remember that the Homebuyers’ Tax Credit has expired, foreclosures are still at high levels, and July data on home sales and starts were very, very weak,” Blitzer said in a statement.  The inventory of unsold homes and months’ supply data were particularly troubling,” he said, adding that “if this relative weakness in demand continues, it will likely filter through to home prices in coming months.”

Look for September to be cancellation city – sellers aren’t going to put up with this!

Black’s Beach House

Here is the link to Dale Naegle’s website, with the story and photos during construction: http://www.dalenaeglearchitect.com/Site/Pavilion_Story.html

In 1960 Sam Bell heir to General Mills (Bell Potato Chips) purchased a summer home with a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean.  His property extended down a 300 foot cliff to the mean high tide line of the surf below.  His beach is isolated 4 miles from public access to the North, and is accessible only at low tide through rugged, slippery rocks from the south, and remains unused and out of sight. Only surfers 100 yards away can see the mushroom shape of the guest retreat.

You can also see it from above in murph’s paragliding video:

Paragliding at Torrey Pines from mike murphy on Vimeo.

VP Gives Up (Again)

Hat tip to kwaping for sending this along, from the U-T:

The developer of downtown San Diego’s largest residential highrise said today that it is giving up on trying to sell any of the 679 condos and is returning deposits to dozens of buyers who had been awaiting the close of escrow.

“We’re not able to meet the Fannie Mae or Freddie MAC or FHA requirements in this marketplace because we can’t get enough sales,” said Randy Klapstein, CEO of Pointe of View, developer of Vantage Pointe, which completed construction last year in the midst of the economic downturn.

“We’re not getting the traction we’d hoped for, and we don’t want our customers to stay in limbo, so it’s best to move on.”

It is now likely the East Village condo project will remain a rental complex for the foreseeable future, said Klapstein, noting that there are now roughly 200 renters, about a dozen of whom are buyers who were waiting for the sales contracts to be finalized.

“At this point, we’re going to continue renting,” Klapstein said.

Over the last several months, the Pointe of View loan has been marketed for sale, but no deal has been finalized yet. When asked whether it was possible that the condo project might be sold, Klapstein would only say, “It’s always a possibility.”

The developer is in the process of returning deposits to buyers, and purchasers who are living in the complex as renters have the option of remaining or working with the Pointe of View sales team to find a condo to purchase elsewhere in downtown, said Klapstein.

Less Than Tripled Here

From the latimes.com, and featured at CR:


“The number of homes in the $1-million-and-up market that have become bank owned has tripled during the last three years in Los Angeles County, and the trend has shown little sign of slowing.”


What about San Diego County? On Foreclosureradar.com you can search by approximate value, here are the number of detached properties over $1,000,000 that were foreclosed in SD County for the entire year:

2007 = 74

2008 = 103

2009 = 162

2010 = 126 so far.

More Government Resistance

From Bloomberg:

The Obama administration plans to set up an emergency loan program for the unemployed and a government refinancing effort in the next few weeks to help homeowners pay their mortgages after home sales dropped in July, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said.

“The July numbers were worse than we expected, worse than the general market expected, and we are concerned,” Donovan said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program. “That’s why we are taking additional steps to move forward.”   The administration will begin a Federal Housing Authority refinancing effort to help borrowers who are struggling to pay their home mortgages, and will start an emergency homeowners’ loan program for unemployed borrowers so they can stay in their homes, Donovan said.

“We’re going to continue to make sure folks have access to home ownership,” he said.

Sales of U.S. new homes unexpectedly dropped in July to the lowest level on record, signaling that even with cheaper prices and reduced borrowing costs the housing market is retreating. Purchases fell 12 percent from June to an annual pace of 276,000, the weakest since the data began in 1963.

U.S. home prices fell 1.6 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier as record foreclosures added to the inventory of properties for sale. The annual drop followed a 3.2 percent decline in the first quarter, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said last week in a report.

Donovan said on CNN today that it is too soon to say whether the administration’s $8,000 first-time homebuyer credit tax credit, which expired April 30, will be revived.   “All I can tell you is that we are watching very carefully,” Donovan said. “We’re going to be focused like a laser on where the housing market is moving going forward, and we are going to go everywhere we can to make sure this market stabilizes and recovers.”

Reviving the tax credit would “help enormously” in the effort to fight foreclosures and revive the economy, Florida Governor Charlie Crist said on the same CNN program. Florida has the third highest home foreclosure rate in the country, with one in every 171 Florida housing units receiving a foreclosure filing this year.

(EDIT: 1 out of 171?  Or 170 out of 171 didn’t get a foreclosure notice this year? That sounds pretty healthy to me!)

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