Monday, May 07, 2012

Freddie Mac: Lower REO Expense in Q1 due to "stabilizing home prices in certain geographical areas"

by Bill McBride on 5/07/2012 03:58:00 PM

Last week Freddie Mac reported results for Q1 2012. Freddie reported that they acquired 23,805 REO in Q1 2012 (Real Estate Owned via foreclosure or deed-in-lieu); this is down from 24,707 in Q1 2011.

Freddie disposed of 25,033 REO in Q1 2012, down from 31,627 in Q1 2011. Since Freddie disposed of more REO than they acquired, Freddie's REO inventory fell slightly in Q1 2012 to 59,307.

A few comments from Freddie:

REO operations expense declined to $171 million in the first quarter of 2012, as compared to $257 million in the first quarter of 2011, primarily due to stabilizing home prices in certain geographical areas with significant REO activity, which resulted in gains on disposition of properties as well as lower write-downs of single-family REO inventory during the first quarter of 2012. However, we also experienced lower recoveries on REO properties during the first quarter of 2012, compared to the first quarter of 2011, primarily due to reduced recoveries from mortgage insurers, in part due to the continued weakness in the financial condition of our mortgage insurance counterparties, and a decline in reimbursements of losses from seller/servicers associated with repurchase requests.

Although our servicers have resumed the foreclosure process in most areas, we believe the volume of our single-family REO acquisitions during the first quarter of 2012 was less than it otherwise would have been due to delays in the foreclosure process, particularly in states that require a judicial foreclosure process. The lower acquisition rate, coupled with high disposition levels, led to a lower REO property inventory level at March 31, 2012, compared to March 31, 2011. We expect that the length of the foreclosure process will continue to remain above historical levels.
Freddie REO Click on graph for larger image.

The following graph shows REO inventory for Freddie.

REO inventory for Freddie decreased slightly in Q1, but has mostly been steady over the last year.

A couple of key points:
1) Freddie is seeing "stabilizing home prices in certain geographical areas with significant REO activity".
2) Serviers have resumed foreclosure activity "in most areas", but acquisitions are still slow, especially in judicial foreclosure areas.

Last 10 Posts