by Brad Carlson Idaho Business Review Published: April 18,2012 Time posted: 9:52 am
Some market watchers say banks aren’t immediately listing foreclosed homes for sale, in part to keep the market from being flooded with distressed properties. The number of bank-owned homes listed for sale through southwest Idaho’s multiple listing service dropped 17.3 percent from February 1 through the end of March, Idaho Data Providers said in a report. Listings of bank “real estate owned” homes, or REOs, dropped from 1,176 to 973 during the period. “This fact is worth mentioning since foreclosure sales are still occurring, and the vast majority of properties are going back to the lender, but there haven’t been that many REO sales to account for the decline,” Idaho Data Providers President Charlie Nate said in the report. “This is evidence that lenders are holding REOs off the market and probably renting them for a while to help keep the market stable.” The number of REOs listed for sale in the database of the Boise-based Intermountain MLS is short of the number of properties going back to banks in foreclosure actions, Nate said in an interview. His company tracks default and foreclosure filings as well as listings of distressed properties for sale. “They are doing that so they don’t further depress the market,” Nate said. “It’s just kind of a controlled thing.” Lance Churchill is a Meridian-based attorney who owns Frontline Realty, which buys and sells investment real estate. The company mainly handles residential properties, buying them at foreclosure auctions. Comparison of bank “real estate owned” homes to short sales listed for sale in the Boise-based Intermountain MLS. In a short sale, the lender agrees to accept a price below what is owed. Courtesy Idaho Data Providers. Banks continue to take back houses through foreclosure but are holding some off the market, Churchill said. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and lenders have started programs in which they rent bank-owned homes to residents instead of selling the homes immediately, which helps keep the market from being flooded with REO properties, Churchill said. Fannie and Freddie are government-sponsored enterprises that buy mortgages from lenders. “I’ve certainly noticed the REOs I handle are down,” said Remax Capital City Realtor Blake Mayes, who concentrates on REOs. “Certainly for me, inventory is down from what it was last year.” One Boise-area bank that is not holding properties off the market is Bank of the Cascades. “Anything we have in Other Real Estate (Owned), we have listed for sale,” Bank of the Cascades Idaho Region President Mike Mooney said. “Our OREO numbers are down pretty dramatically in the last six months and continue to trend downward.” Bank of the Cascades owns fewer homes in part because the economy and demand for housing are improving, and low interest rates are helping buyers, Mooney said. “We don’t want to own property; we want to make loans,” he said. “It’s definitely getting better.” The Iron Eagle Realty Team's mission is to assist you, our client, in the sale and acquisition of real estate properties in the state of Idaho, specifically the Boise Idaho Real Estate Market. Whether you are buying or selling a home, whether it is a foreclosure, short sale or equity property, we handle our customers and clients with empathy and honest truths so they can make informed decisions as they advance in the process of buying and selling real estate that meet specific needs.
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