Increased Lending, Short Sales Will Reduce REOs

Improving access to affordable mortgage financing for qualified home buyers and investors and committing additional resources to loan modifications and short sales will help reduce current and future inventories of real estate owned (REO) properties held by government agencies, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

In a letter sent today to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury, NAR responded to the agencies’ recent request for input and offered its recommendations for selling REO properties held by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration.

In its letter, NAR urged the agencies to create an advisory board as they explore new options for selling foreclosed properties to ensure that efficiently disposing of agency REO properties will minimize taxpayer losses and reduce the negative effects that distressed properties have on local real estate markets.

“As the leading advocate for housing issues, REALTORS®know that foreclosures affect families, communities, the housing market and our nation’s economy,” said NAR President Ron Phipps. “We believe the government has an opportunity to minimize the impact of distressed properties on local markets by expanding financing opportunities, bolstering loan modifications and short sales efforts, and enhancing the efficient disposition of REO properties. This will help stabilize home prices and neighborhoods and help support the broader economic recovery.”