I'm just not sure I agree with it entirely.
Investors are critical to clearing these properties off the banks'/government's balance sheets.
The faster this gets done, the faster home prices recover, and we all start to move out of the worst housing crash since the Great Depression (I had to throw that in because Paul Dales at Capital Economics declared it worse than the Great Depression today).
Investors may help home prices more than you think.
Why? Properties bought at auction by investors (i.e. that don't go back to banks as REO) are re-selling at a faster clip in some of the hardest-hit states, according to a new report today from ForeclosureRadar.
"While we believe this is partially due to finally seeing some spring selling activity, we think it has more to do with an overall lack of quality, affordable, homes for sale," said ForeclosureRadar CEO Sean O'Toole.
"Investors far better fill this need then banks, who put little into cleaning up their properties before sale, or non-distressed homeowners, who are often not motivated to sell at prices homebuyers can now realistically afford," he added.
This week, attendees of the REO Expo default services conference in Texas are talking all about how best to sell distressed and often dilapidated properties.
The big talk, according to Jon Prior at Housing Wire, is a philosophical shift toward rehabbing more REOs.
He quotes Wells Fargo vendor network manager Kevin Schriver: "As other servicers begin to change their philosophy on this, it will be more important for our agents to understand. I think this is the biggest shift for us in some time, as far as getting everyone on board."
While the philosophy shift is all well and good, I doubt Fannie Mae has the time or the resources to get in and rehab hundreds of thousands of foreclosed properties.
That's why I think there should be more investor incentives, because investors take the time to rehab, which in turn allows them to sell these homes at a higher price, which consequently improves overall home prices.
Look, the banks, the government, they need help, and investors are not the enemy here.
They could be part of the solution.
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