LEASEHOLD LOANS GO BYE BYE
As of June 1, 2009 Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will no longer accept leasehold loans. What does this mean for the market? Well. for the US as a whole it's probably not that big a deal but for Hawaii is a BIG deal. Hawaii is a unique market where there are several large Trust organizations that own huge tracks of land. So here's the history in a nutshell... Many of these large Trusts actually date back to the original "Great Mahele" in which Hawaiian royalty divided up the lands amongst their relatives or favored advisors. Well, historically these Trusts have often been tasked with creating income for the organization's charitable causes without actually selling the underlying asset (land). So the answer was to lease the land to developers to construct buildings etc. Many of these leasehold buildings were developed in the 60's and 70's during the construction boom of Honolulu and most were on 75 year leases. That means many of them are about halfway through their lease terms. So there still exists hundreds, if not thousands, of indivdually owned leasehold units that no longer qualify to refinance or sell their units to buyers that want to get conventional financing. That shrinks the buyer pool considerably! A buyer can still get portfolio loans or FHA approved loans provided the lease expiration is at least 10 years longer than the loan term and meets a half a dozen other restrictions... probably a tough one! So in the end... if you live in a leasehold condo and your Lessor offers the fee for purchase... BUY IT!