OIL-RICH FUND EYEING FORECLOSED US HOMES
By TERI BUHL
Posted: 4:19 am
August 10, 2008
There's a new land grab starting in America.
Foreign money, which up to now has focused its attention on investing in iconic commercial real estate - like Barneys New York and the Chrysler Building - is now moving to scoop up tens of thousands of discounted foreclosed homes across the country.
One sovereign fund, said to have earmarked $29 billion to purchase foreclosed residential real estate, recently hired a West Coast mortgage broker and is starting to search for bargains, The Post has learned.
The search, which is being carried out, in part, by Field Check Group mortgage consultant Mark Hanson, who was retained by the broker, Steve Iversen, is concentrating on single- and multi-family REO (real estate owned) homes, or homes that have already been taken over by the mortgagee.
Neither Iversen nor Hanson would disclose the name of the client, but sources told The Post it's a sovereign fund.
The unidentified fund joins individual US investors, hedge funds and Wall Street banks in kicking the tires of REO homes, which have fallen in value so much that they are now tempting investments.
A sovereign fund would have two distinct advantages over other investors - the depressed value of the US dollar makes the homes a bargain, and sovereign funds have deeper pockets.
The sovereign fund of Abu Dhabi, for example, has a reported $875 billion in assets, while Norway has $391 billion, Singapore has $303 billion and Kuwait has $264 billion in their sovereign funds, which are funded by proceeds from oil sales...
full story: http://www.nypost.com/seven/0810200...nity_123879.htm
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