Freddie Mac is stepping out on its own and talking with institutional mortgage-bond investors about selling off hundreds of distressed single-family properties in its portfolio, Reuters news said Wednesday.

The discussions center around the possibility that investors will buy the properties and convert them into rental homes, Reuters reported.

It's a fast-tracked version of government proposed foreclosure-to-rental programs. The report does not say a deal is finalized, but suggests discussions are serious.

-- Kerri Panchuk