Fannie Mae Jolts Florida’s Condo Market

Federal mortgage backer eases lending rules on Florida condo complexes that may not have met previous lending standards.

Palm Coast, FL – January 12, 2010

Jan 09, 2010 (The Orlando Sentinel – McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX)
In hopes of reviving one of the nation’s hardest-hit condominium markets, the giant mortgage backer Fannie Mae is making it easier for people to buy Florida condos that may not have met previous lending standards.
Fannie Mae has started giving certain condo complexes in the state "special approval" designations, a sort of stamp of approval, even when the properties don’t meet one or more of the established rules relating to delinquent fees, financial reserves and percentage of owner-occupied units.
Florida is the only state getting the special reviews, which are a first for Fannie Mae, officials with the government-backed corporation said this week.
Teams are already reviewing complexes and granting the special approvals — which are a green light for mortgage lenders — in cases where the projects are considered stable even though they might violate a Fannie Mae lending standard. For example, under current rules, a project doesn’t qualify for Fannie Mae-backed mortgages if more than 15 percent of the unit owners are behind on their association fees — but a review team might decide to waive that rule, opening that complex to a much larger pool of prospective buyers.
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Toby’s Commentary: Condominiums represent the weakest sector in the Florida residential housing market. Current lending guidelines restrict the pool of potential buyers. An easing of the standards will help but risks the possibility of increased foreclosures down the road.

2 replies
  1. George Meegan
    George Meegan says:

    Fannie Mae is a good girl

    She knows you need buyers for the thousands of condo’s that have been pushed out of the loan market, due to no solid base for operations. The only way to get the common fees flowing is to sell more units. That will now happen, at an opportune time while mortgages are rock bottom and so are the prices. This sure seens like to bottom, as everything is looking up for buyers that have incomes. For the many that don’t have jobs, this won’t help much. But the ducks do seem to be getting in a row.

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