Fannie Mae's Task: Sell 65K Homes in Buyer's Market

Unloading homes quickly while maintaining value, Fannie walks tightrope
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2009 9:38 AM CDT
A foreclosed home that is up for auction is shown March 6, 2009, in the Queens borough of New York.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – It’s no secret that for US homeowners, it’s not a seller’s market. But imagine having 65,000 properties to sell. That’s the task ahead of Fannie Mae, NPR reports, as its volume of repossessed homes grows by the day. The guarantor of a third of all loans, Fannie is charged with foreclosing, renovating, valuing, and unloading this massive inventory into the worst housing market in decades.

On average, Fannie spends $10,000 per property renovating and 90 days to make each sale, carefully balancing conflicting mandates to sell homes quickly without undercutting overall housing prices. The firm, now functioning under a government conservatorship, has also instituted a rental program, allowing tenants to remain in foreclosed properties as renters, though only 20 of Fannie’s 1800 tenants have signed leases.