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Mortgage Applications Hit 15-Year Bottom Despite Low Rates

Cresting on low tides in credit supply and buyer confidence, fewer first-time and repeat homebuyers filed mortgage applications last week, according to a weekly survey released by the Mortgage Bankers Association Wednesday. The MBA said that overall mortgage loan application volume dropped 2.4 percent, with purchases slamming into a 15-year low. The Market Composite Index, which the MBA uses to gauge loan application activity, showed a seasonally adjusted squeeze in loan volume.

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Zillow: Mortgage Rates Fall. Again

Mortgage rates continued falling to new lows, according to real estate Web site Zillow, which released rates in the latest Mortgage Marketplace note Tuesday. According to Zillow, the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate loan jumped four basis points to hit 4.07 percent Saturday, up from 4.09 percent last week. Zillow tracks mortgage rates by pooling anonymous loan quotes submitted by the 1.7 million users that it says follow its Web site on a daily basis. The Zillow rates track ongoing mortgage-rate declines reported by Bankrate and Freddie Mac.

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FHA Multifamily Rental Loans Hit New Highs

Despite all-time highs for home affordability, homebuilders are seeing less demand for home construction and more for multifamily rentals, with the Federal Housing Administration recently releasing a report that signals new highs for rental properties across the country. The FHA said that it has endorsed some $10.5 billion in multifamily rental housing loans ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô seven times the number of loans made three years ago and the only second time that the FHA has lent so much.

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Adding to Worries, New Home Sales Drop in July

Marking a third consecutive month, new home sales fell over July, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. The drop in new home sales reflects still-weakening consumer confidence as new fears about a global economic slowdown continued to rattle stocks and markets worldwide. New single-family house sales dipped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 298,000 over July, reflecting a downward shift in estimates that fixed these numbers at a 0.7 percent decline from 300,000 homes sold over June.

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Accenture Acquiring Zenta

Accenture is planning to acquire Zenta as part of the company├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós ongoing efforts to bolster its mortgage lending and servicing operations. The terms of the transaction have not been released, but Accenture has confirmed its intention to debut a new division targeting consulting, technology, and BPO offerings.

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Report: Low-End Markets See Mild Upswing

Despite the rash of research and news reports about consumers staying wary of new purchases, some markets are seeing first-time homebuyers run to take advantage of historically low prices and mortgage rates, particularly in government-backed mortgage programs, according to a research note from Credit Suisse. The research firm said that the scramble to scoop up new properties occurred particularly among state and federal programs. The research note questioned whether builders will continue with current valuations.

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RE/MAX Sees Home Price Drop Over July

Over July, home prices fell 0.18 percent lower than over the month before, following a four-month upshot, according to a RE/MAX national housing report released Friday. RE/MAX said that 11 metropolitan areas around the country also registered higher prices in July than over the same period last year. RE/MAX said that homes lasted on the market for a total of some 88 days, starting with the initial listing to the receipt for a sale. The company chalked up the number of months' inventory supply to 7.2.

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CFPB Architect Formally Explores Senate Bid

Elizabeth Warren is moving closer to confirming her 2012 Senate bid. The controversial professor-turned-politico took formal, exploratory actions in Massachusetts recently, indicating that Warren's rumored plans to run for office are more than speculation. Officially developing an exploratory campaign committee, Warren has also initiated a donation website, elizabethforma.com, and she seems to be the likely liberal candidate vying to unseat Republican Sen. Scott Brown next November.

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