Fannie Mae to Reassess Lending Guidelines for Florida Condo Projects

January 7, 2010 by Lucas Lechuga

About a year ago, Fannie Mae implemented strict lending guidelines that effectively put the lights out on the Florida condo market. In particular, these stringent guidelines made it next to impossible for buyers to obtain financing in the vast majority of condo developments in South Florida.

Earlier this afternoon, Fannie Mae made the announcement that it will reassess hundreds of condominium projects throughout the state in an effort to jump-start the market.  The news is a godsend to a condo market that was heavily supported by cash buyers in 2009.

Here are some excerpts regarding the announcement from PR Newswire and Reuters:

PR Newswire

Fannie Mae announced today that it is undertaking a comprehensive review of hundreds of condominium projects in the state of Florida in an effort to allow additional projects to become Fannie Mae-eligible through a new “Special Approval” designation.

A dedicated team of six Fannie Mae professionals based in Florida is conducting a thorough examination of condominium projects across the state that may not currently meet Fannie Mae’s standard eligibility criteria and assessing specific criteria more closely, including occupancy, homeownership association dues, financial stability of the project and property condition.  Projects deemed to be sufficiently stable following the closer examination are granted a Special Approval designation, meaning lenders can originate and deliver mortgage loans secured by units in these projects to Fannie Mae

Reuters – (full story)

Fannie Mae, the largest funder of U.S. home mortgages, on Thursday said it is making it easier for some Florida condo buyers to qualify for loans in a bid to stabilize one of the worst-hit real estate markets.

The housing finance giant said it is reassessing hundreds of Florida condo projects to see if they are “sufficiently stable” enough to qualify for funding, even if they don’t meet current requirements, Fannie Mae said in a statement.

These projects would get a “special approval” designation from Fannie Mae, clearing the way for hamstrung Florida lenders to originate loans and help spur a recovery, it said.

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15 Comments on "Fannie Mae to Reassess Lending Guidelines for Florida Condo Projects"


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Anonymous
Joe
6 years 8 months ago

Sweet! Looks like Uncle Barack is trying to create a new bubble.

Anonymous
Wild Bill
6 years 8 months ago

Desperation. Real estate is subsidized because it is a horrible investment for most people.

Anonymous
6 years 8 months ago

Here’s the link to the Miami Herald story:
http://www.miamiherald.com/1382/story/1415119.html

Anonymous
Gixxer 1000
6 years 8 months ago
Wow, where do you people get this stuff. As with most corrections regulations try to correct and the pendulum usually swings to far the other way. Do they really expect a new condo to fill over half it units with cash buyers??? And why would that matter if the condo is a a decent position? From the article: A dedicated team of six Fannie Mae professionals based in Florida is conducting a thorough examination of condominium projects across the state that may not currently meet Fannie Mae’s standard eligibility criteria and assessing specific criteria more closely, including occupancy, homeownership association… Read more »
Anonymous
Joe
6 years 8 months ago
Gixxer 1000 said: “Real estate is a great investment for most people. For most Americans their home is probably their biggest purchase and represents the majority of their wealth. The typical homeowner’s net worth ($205,200) was 49 times that of the typical renter ($4,200) in 2008.” Yikes! Talk about a gross over-generalization. Would you mind showing us the average age of a homeowner vs. the average age of a renter? The last 5 years put the lie to the idea that real estate is a great investment or a great wealth builder. It might have been a great investment back… Read more »
Anonymous
Wild Bill
6 years 8 months ago

Most people put zero down on their house. What do you want to call it, an asset or a liability?

Anonymous
Gixxer 1000
6 years 8 months ago
Joe “Unless a person was 100% sure they’d be staying put for at least 5-10 years, they’d be nuts to buy a house or condo in this market” To quote you from earlier “Gee, no kidding” You should not be buying a home unless you expect to own it for at least 5 years, even in a good market. With the transaction cost of buying and selling most people would lose money in a few years even in a good market. What part of LONG TERM investment don’t you understand??? “The last 5 years put the lie to the idea… Read more »
Anonymous
Joe
6 years 8 months ago

Gixxer 1000 —

1. “Most people” don’t spend 5-10 years in the same home or condo these days, especially in the highly transient Miami market.

2. It took almost 10 years for home prices to recover after the last major r.e. crash, so you’re doing people a disservice by projecting almost 50% appreciation over the next decade.

3. Rents are at historic lows vis-a-vis ownership costs, so claiming mortgage costs are a sunk cost at a 1:1 par to rental cost is absurd.

Anonymous
gables
6 years 8 months ago

“I mean do the freaking math. Let’s just assume a typical 4% appreciation on home values over the next 10 years. ”

Are you serious? Market is still dropping buddy. You have a better shot at the market depreciating 4% annually over 10 years than appreciating at that rate. Most likely it will try to hold steady. No appreciation in sight-at least until inflation strikes-but that will be a real wildcard for outcome predictions.

Anonymous
Gixxer 1000
6 years 8 months ago
Yes I’m serious. What do you really think the market is going to drop to??? “You have a better shot at the market depreciating 4% annually over 10 years than appreciating at that rate.” Are you serious?? If prices dropped 4% a year for the next 10 years then Miami housing prices in 2020 would be the same as they were in 2000. In the entire existence of the US housing market prices have never been flat for 20 years. Are you forgetting about the decades of housing prices. Here is the historical housing prices for Florida back to 1940:… Read more »
Anonymous
gables
6 years 8 months ago
never said we would depreciate at 4% a year. i said we have a better shot at that happening than it appreciating at 4% a year. this was the scenario you laid out for a discussion above. its a bogus scenario. RE will not appreciate at 4% a year over the next decade. it may make some big movements in another 5 to 7 years, but not before then. over the next five years it will basically be stagnate/negative. be careful of following trends from the past. we are in a new economic environment, so there is very little justification… Read more »
Anonymous
Lara
6 years 8 months ago

fyi: http://www.buybeach.com/recent_sales/data/con1209.htm

I am very impressed with Metropolitan. Does anyone know what was going on there?

Anonymous
Joe
6 years 8 months ago

Gixxer 1000 — Don’t you think it’s kind of silly to suggest Miami condos have hit the bottom of the market, and then claim that slashing HOA amenities will have no impact on condo values?

If a condo sells for $150/sf, as in your example below, and then the condo’s amenities are slashed, how can that condo have the same value? At many if not most of these new condos, the amenities are a huge part of the sales pitch. Minus the amenities, a lot of the actual units are little more than slightly nicer rental apartments.

Anonymous
Wild Bill
6 years 8 months ago

You cannot slash amenities in a condominium without owners voting on it. You cannot get rid of pools, valets and security. If you don’t want to pay for these things you can live in a smaller 30 unit or less building.

Anonymous
gables
6 years 8 months ago

Wild Bill, I agree. Very hard to change a luxury condo building into a non luxury building. The amenities are already there. You can save a couple of bucks by removing valet, but doorman and security most likely wont be eliminated. Pools and other common areas are already built-you are stuck with them. HOA can most likely only be reduced significantly if building owners take active role in governing the building, including pressuring management to be efficient and searching for best value on insurance.

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