A U.S. housing regulator has invited investors to submit initial bids on pools of foreclosed properties owned by government mortgage giant Fannie Mae, the Wall Street Journal reported, with an aim of turning the properties into rental buildings to stabilize the housing market.
The program, which effects about $250 million worth of real estate in six states, is limited to properties that Fannie Mae has already leased through a separate program, the Journal noted. Fannie was chosen to operate the program because it has a more significant foreclosure inventory compared with Freddie Mac.
The idea of renting out foreclosed homes is not new.
“We’re working to turn more foreclosed homes into rental housing, because as we know and a lot of families know, that empty house or ‘for sale’ sign down the block can bring down the price of homes across the neighborhood,” said President Barack Obama yesterday.
Obama also wants to make it easier for underwater homeowners to refinance their mortgages with low-interest, he said. [WSJ]