Management Firms Join Forces in First Major REO Sale of 2012

by Chicago Agent

The first private bulk sale of REO properties has been announced, in anticipation of similar deals with the federal government.

Ever since the Federal Reserve outlined a potential bulk REO sales program, and especially after it was announced early last week that the government was in negotiations with private property management firms for such transactions, speculation has abounded on when the first bulk purchase of such properties would occur, but according to a new HousingWire story from Wednesday, it would appear that two property management firms have beat the government to the punch and made such a deal happen.

A partnership of Carrington Holding Co. and Oaktree Capital Management has purchased up to $450 million in vacant REO properties with the intention of renovating and renting them out. Though the partnership is independent of the aforementioned government plans through the Federal Housing Finance Agency to sell the government’s estimated 250,000 REO properties, such offerings are expected to materialize soon.

John Brady, who heads Oaktree’s global real estate division, said that Carrington’s existing rental program, which involves 3,000 Fannie Mae homes, worked well with his firm’s investment strategy.

“We believe that this is not only a unique investment opportunity with few qualified large-scale competitors, but one that also has the potential to have a broader positive effect on the housing market and the overall economy,” Brady said in HousingWire’s story.

Rick Sharga, the executive vice president at Carrington, said despite the recent deal, his firm will continue to look for more investment opportunities.

“While we’d be delighted to participate in an FHFA program that would include Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac REO properties, this initial phase will not specifically target those properties,” Sharga said  in a statement to HousingWire. “We’ll be looking to acquire a portfolio of properties that meet our investment criteria, regardless of which entity happens to own them.”

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