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Fed: Real Estate Markets Show Widespread Weakness

Fed

The Federal Reserve released a report on Wednesday that suggests a "steady pace" of economic growth throughout most of the country, with intermittent spots of economic activity slowing in four of its 12 regional districts, namely Philadelphia, New York, Atlanta, and Chicago. The central bank's regularly published Beige Book indicated that construction and real estate markets continued to show widespread weakness. No district seemed to see an increase in home prices.

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Mortgage Applications Down Nationwide

application

Mortgage loan applications fell by 0.4 percent nationwide over the last week, spreading unease among lenders concerned about the potential for a dip in the housing market, according to a study released by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) on Wednesday. The decline in loan applications coincides with the lowest rates for mortgages in the last six months and the fewest applications for home purchases in nearly 15 years. Market analysts say people are "nervous," which can preclude signing on the bottom line to buy a home.

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Zillow Releases New Mobile App

Homebuyers can now review the latest mortgage loan quotes right from their phone for loan shopping on the go. On Tuesday, Zillow released a statement publicizing the launch of its newest innovation: a mobile app that allows iPhone users to navigate the mortgage market and receive the latest custom quotes from lenders and mortgage bankers, with tools to determine the amount of their monthly payments and decide whether refinancing packages would make sense for their homes.

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Mortgage Bankers Praise Risk Retention Comment Extension

The nation's largest association for mortgage bankers has issued a statement praising a last-minute extension of the comment deadline for Dodd-Frank's controversial risk-retention rule and its Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM), which opponents charge will make loans more expensive for homebuyers. The Mortgage Bankers Association says the rule will have a "profound long-term effect" on the mortgage financing industry, which is good reason to give stakeholders more time to understand its full scope.

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Caliber Funding Appoints New CEO

Caliber Funding, LLC, a wholesale and retail mortgage lender, announced Monday that it would appoint Brian Simon its chief executive officer. Caliber Funding has an excellent strategic position within the mortgage lending industry, and I am very excited to join the company, Simon said in the release.

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Survey: Americans Still Want to Own Homes

A recent national survey finds that approximately three in every four Americans regard home ownership as an important investment and want to own homes. A survey by Lake Research Partners and Public Opinion Strategies, found that 2 in 1 Americans who owe more on their homes agreed that home ownership is worth the risk, despite the perception of risk in the housing market. Participants from all age groups also agreed that owning a home is the best long-term investment, according to the survey.

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Twenty Percent Down Payment Not Easy For Consumers

As consumer advocates and mortgage lenders take to the streets fighting the implementation on the Qualified Residential Mortgage Rule. Potential home buyers were polled to see what they think about coming up with 20 percent for a home. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling shows no improvement on the ability for potential homeowners to raise 20 percent for a down payment from 2010 to 2011.

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Another Round of K Certificates Offered By Freddie Mac

Freddie

Freddie Mac is at it again offering another round of the multifamily mortgage-backed securities known as K Certificates. The company expects to offer approximately $538 million in K Certificates (K-AIV Certificates), which are backed by 19 multifamily properties owned by affiliates of Apartment Investment & Management Co. The K Certificates are expected to price this week and settle on or around June 9.

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Federal Reserve Promotes to Executive Levels

Three is not a crowd at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia who is promoting three employees. [IMAGE] [COLUMN_BREAK] The Philadelphia Fed promoted Constance H. Wallgren to vice president and chief examinations officer in the bank├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós supervision, regulation and credit (SRC) department.

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Indiana Governor Takes Action Protecting Homeowners

Indiana governor Mitch Daniels is looking to protect Indiana homeowners. Governor Daniels is signing HB 1541 to restrict private transfer fees or Wall Street Home Resale Fees. The new law, sponsored by Indiana State Representative Mike Speedy, places a ban on these fees, which could take away from one├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós home equity, lower home resale values and provide more obstacles to the home buying process.

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