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Freddie Mac sells record-number REO at 94% of market value

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Freddie Mac sold a record number of real estate owned properties in 2011 and got pretty decent pricing on most of them, according to Tracy Mooney, senior vice president of single-family servicing and real estate owned properties at Freddie. Mooney said in a blog post Monday that the majority of REO sales at the government-sponsored enterprise are going to owner-occupants. "While we have always been open to selling to investors, our strategy is to limit the concentration of investor sales in any given area," Mooney said. "In addition, we do not typically consider any offers that require significant discount pricing." Mooney said the success of the pricing system hinges on stellar property preservation. Within three days of the occupant leaving the house is cleared, cleaned and secured. The property is then continually landscaped to try to preserve or improve neighborhood-wide valuations. "We sold a record number of single-family REO homes in the first nine months of 2011 — more than 80,000 — and we are selling more homes than we are taking in through foreclosure," Mooney said. "Thanks to our innovative sales strategies and top-performing broker network, our homes are selling in approximately four months — or about 120 days." Freddie had 59,600 REOs on its books with an estimated $10.4 billion in market value, at the end of the third quarter. The GSE received $72 billion to date from the Treasury and, so far, paid back $15 billion. Freddie is not disclosing how much they may be losing on the deals, ultimately, as the unpaid principal balance is not included in SEC filings. Write to Jacob Gaffney. Follow him on Twitter @jacobgaffney.

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