FORT MYERS, Fla.- Realtors say it's help for the housing market-- coming just a little too late.
"I'm not sure that we're in the position in this time that we really need something like this," Marion Briggs, President-Elect of the Fort Myers Realtors Association said.
President Obama is considering clearing out the federal government's inventory of foreclosed homes by converting them into rentals, sold in bulk to private investors.
It's an effort to stabilize neighborhoods, by allowing families to lease vacant homes.
"We're prolonging it. We're putting a Band-Aid on the problem again. In two or three years, we're going to have to sell those. Eventually, the investor sells," said Fort Myers realtor Marc Joesph, who specializes in foreclosures.
The proposal hopes to clear the government's balance sheet of hundreds of thousands of foreclosed homes they say are too hard to sell. But here in Southwest Florida, realtors say the market is slowly, but surely bouncing back.
"When they talk about more foreclosures hitting our market, we have the ability to absorb those right now. We're actually looking for more inventory," Briggs said.
Foreclosure filings are down dramatically in Lee County since the housing bubble burst. In October of 2008, there were over 2,600 filings. Last month, that number went down to 405.
"The primary goal to stabilize our economy is to put homeowner, owner-occupants, back into those homes. People that want to live there, take care of their homes, live the American dream," Joseph said Thursday.
The proposal to sell government-owned foreclosures as rental properties is still in the early stages of consideration. Experts say it could also help meet the growing demand of Americans looking to rent.