REOs to rent: Morgan Stanley’s rose-colored outlook

File under "Read the fine print": According to Housing Wire, "Morgan Stanley predicts REO rental program will create 1.8 million jobs." That’s referring to the government program to sell Fannie/Freddie/FHA repos to investors, who will turn those properties into rental units.

It's a livingSounds good, that 1.8 million jobs. But read a bit further.

Each of these homes would employ four construction workers to work for three weeks. That’s the equivalent of 1/4 of a annual job. So if there are four million homes needing work, that’s the equivalent of a million jobs… but that only lasts a year.

And then there’s the other 800,000 jobs that will be created. What are those? "The 800,000 jobs would comprise the cottage industry for servicing REO rental units, from cleaning properties to collecting the rent."

So Morgan Stanley’s "1.8 million jobs" really means "a lot of construction workers hired for a few weeks at a time, plus 800,000 maids and bill collectors."

About Andrew Kantor

Andrew is VAR's editor and information manager, and -- lessee now -- a former reporter for the Roanoke Times, former technology columnist for USA Today, and a former magazine editor for a bunch of places. He hails from New York with stops in Connecticut, New Jersey, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Roanoke.
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