Fannie, Freddie REO inventory swells

Eight homes foreclosed for every short sale

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac boosted loan modifications by 76 percent in the last three months of 2008, but nearly doubled their inventories of real estate-owned properties over the course of the year as the companies eschewed short sales and seized properties faster than they could sell them.

Fannie and Freddie’s regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, submitted a report to lawmakers today detailing actions taken to prevent unnecessary foreclosures.