Changes are afoot at Fannie Mae. The GSE plans to stimulate its mortgage-backed security (MBS) and delegated underwriting and servicing (DUS) business and broaden the investor base. Its focus will shift from primarily being a multifamily portfolio lender to acting as a lender that provides liquidity to the multifamily market primarily through MBS issuance. The changes are being made in expectation of a bloodbath this year. With job losses adding up, household formations will slow, and apartment owners will suffer. The DUS business is responsible for the lion’s share of Fannie’s business.
In the Washington, D.C., metro area, where many residents move to remote suburbs to find affordable homes, working families spend an average of nearly $23,000 per year on housing and $13,000 for transportation. The combined cost represents nearly 47 percent of the area’s median income of $78,000, according to a new report from the Urban Land Institute’s Terwilliger Center for Workforce Housing, titled Beltway Burden: The Combined Cost of Housing and Transportation in the Greater Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Area. The bottom line: Increases in transportation costs start offsetting housing savings when families live roughly 15 miles to 17 miles from employment centers. The report emphasizes the need for policy changes to lower the housing-transportation cost burden for the D.C. metro area—a burden which is only expected to increase due to the projected addition of 1.7 million new households in the region over the next 20 years.
Recent research released by Bal Harbour, Fla.-based consulting firm Condo Vultures reveals that condo, townhouse, and single-family homes in the area sold for an average discount of 43 percent—or $323,784 per residence—in 2008, compared to their highs in the years before. Condo Vultures tracked sales of 1,717 properties in 2008, totaling nearly 2.7 million square feet of condos, townhouses, and single-family homes in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. These assets traded for a combined price of $775 million, down from a historical high of $1.33 billion. That’s more than $550 million off the historical high.
More than 20 percent of properties facing foreclosure nationwide are multifamily and single-family rentals, according to a report from the Washington, D.C-based National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC). Since rental properties often are home to multiple families, renters make up roughly 40 percent of the families facing eviction. “Our No. 1 goal [in publishing the report] is to raise awareness on the impact of the foreclosure crisis,” says Keith Wardrip, NLIHC’s senior research analyst. “We hope that will translate into action.” The coalition is calling for the federal allocation of $2 billion for relocation and temporary housing assistance for tenants who live in homes that are foreclosed upon and protections for tenants in properties subject to foreclosure.