As the federal government has doggedly worked through concerns about foreclosure documentation practices, federal financial agencies have aggressively resumed their sale of foreclosed properties.
Through the first half of the year, the FDIC has sold $1.073 billion in foreclosed properties. This compares to $974.7 million in the first half of last year and
$482.2 million in the first half of 2009. More importantly, the amount of commercial real estate being sold by the FDIC has jumped more than 12 times in that time frame. Just
$39.8 million of FDIC property sales in 2009 consisted of commercial and multifamily properties. This year, more than half of the sales ($540.3 million) have been commercial real estate. In addition, land sales have increased from $86.1 million in 2009 to $310.6 million this year. Also, as commercial sales have been increasing, the number of single-family residential sales being handled by the FDIC is falling from $307.7 million in 2009 to $219 million this year.
While there has been some anxiety in the marketplace over the potential impact that a surge of distressed CRE properties coming into the marketplace may do to sales values, CoStar Group senior real estate strategist Chris Macke says there is an upside to the trend. “The increased disposition activity is good for the industry,” Macke said. “The sooner we clear troubled assets the sooner the market will return to normal.” However, Macke warned, “with funds available to deal with troubled assets depleted and no appetite from Congress to provide additional funds, regulatory agencies do have limits on how quickly they can clear out all the troubled transactions there are to deal with.”
The nation’s government-sponsored enterprises are also increasing their REO property sales. Through the first three months of the year, Fannie Mae sold 37 multifamily properties on which it had foreclosed compared to 13 in the same period last year. At the same time, the number of multifamily properties it has picked up has remained fairly consistent, 50 in the first quarter of this year and 47 a year ago. Overall, Fannie Mae sold 62,814 properties in the first three months of this year vs. 38,095 in the same period a year earlier. Those sales have produced proceeds of $11 billion in the first quarter of this year compared to $7.7 billion the year-ago period.
Through the first three months of the year, Freddie Mac has sold 31,628 properties vs. 21,969 in the same period a year earlier. Freddie Mac did not break out its multifamily property dispositions separately but it was holding only 15 multifamily repossessed apartment properties on its books as of March 31. According to the Dept. of Housing & Urban Development, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) acquired 7,667 REO properties in June and sold a record 13,609 properties (breaking the record of 12,671 properties sold in May).
The FHA REO inventory has declined from 69,958 at the end of the first quarter to 54,645 at the end of June.