For the past year, the Obama administration has been grappling with how to unload thousands of government-owned foreclosed properties without wreaking more havoc on the housing market (BBW—Sept. 5-11, 2011). In September, Fannie Mae closed on its first bulk sale—699 homes in Florida. The buyer, Pacifica Companies, will manage the properties as rentals and is limited in what it can sell to others for three years. Fannie Mae says the sale is worth $78.1 million, or 96 percent of the houses’ appraised value. The deal doesn’t make much of a dent in the government’s portfolio of distressed real estate, though. As of June 30, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration owned 202,765 properties—or roughly half the nation’s repossessed homes.
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