More than 25,300 repossessed homes held by Freddie Mac sold in the third quarter, down 13.5% from the nearly 30,000 in the previous three months. It was also a 17% decline from the record-setting 31,600 sold in the first quarter.
At the same time Freddie unloaded the 25,300 REO, it repossessed another 24,300 homes back into the inventory. At the end of the quarter, Freddie held 60,000 REO on its books, which has been trimmed — as new foreclosures are completed — from 75,000 one year ago.
If the current trend holds, and the GSE reduces a net 1,000 REO from its inventory every quarter, it would take 60 quarters to unload its entire inventory — roughly 15 years.
Meanwhile, nonperforming assets continue to mount. These troubled mortgages totaled $127.9 billion, or 6.6% of its total mortgage portfolio, in the third quarter. That’s up 3.2% from the previous quarter.
To help manage the still mounting problem holding back housing and as an extension the overall economy, the Obama administration and the Federal Housing Finance Agency began asking market participants for ideas on selling these properties in bulk and even possibly renting them.
Before a House subcommittee Thursday, FHFA Acting Director Edward DeMarco reiterated that such a strategy will not be implemented nationwide but on a local level.
“We are not looking to develop a single, national program for REO disposition. We are most interested in proposals tailored to the needs and economic conditions of local communities,” DeMarco said. “We received nearly 4,000 responses to the RFI and are reviewing the submissions.”