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Daily Dose

September Home Sales Beat 2013 Figure

Though September home sales were down 10.4 percent from August—an expected seasonal trend—September is the first month in 2014 in which home sales exceeded those one year prior, according to the latest National Housing Report from RE/MAX. The firm found that home sales last month were 0.9 percent higher than in September 2013, which is no small feat, considering that 2013 was marked by double-digit growth in home sales nationwide.

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Report: GSEs, Lenders Nearing Deal That Could Expand Mortgage Access

Citing "people familiar with the matter," the Wall Street Journal reported Friday that the two GSEs and their conservator are nearing an agreement with lenders that would set clearer definitions of when a loan is considered to be in breach of GSE selling requirements. The agreement could be announced as soon as next week, according to the publication.

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Housing Inventory Sees Late-Season Gains

According to an analysis from Redfin, housing stock in all of its tracked markets totaled 563,377 in September, up 4.1 percent from August and 6.3 percent from a year prior. Even with the unexpected rise in inventory, analysts at the company expressed doubt that supply will be able to keep pace with demand in the coming months, especially with home affordability still looking favorable.

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Housing Starts Rise After August Stall

According to a joint release from the Commerce Department and HUD, homebuilders broke ground on new projects at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.02 million last month, 6.3 percent above August's revised estimate of 957,000 (just barely up from the government's initial estimate).

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Goldman Sachs Sees Boost in Profits

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. reported a third quarter net revenue of $8.39 billion and net earnings of $2.24 billion, according to the company's Q3 earnings statement released on Thursday.

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Community Banks Continue to Feel Compliance Burden

Community financial institutions are putting more of their resources toward compliance, according to compliance management systems firm Continuity Control. The firm's 2014 Third Quarter Banking Compliance Index revealed that in order to comply with the 82 regulatory changes added in Q3, 653 additional hours were required of the average community bank.

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Report: Buying a Home 38% Cheaper than Renting

Buying a home is still cheaper than renting in most markets across the country, and even cheaper than a year ago, according to the latest Rent vs. Buy report from Trulia. According to Trulia, when the purchase includes 20 percent down and a fixed 30-year mortgage, buying is 38 percent cheaper than renting.

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Mortgage Rates Sink to 16-Month Lows

Freddie Mac released Thursday the results of its weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey, showing the average 30-year fixed interest rate dropping 15 basis points to 3.97 percent (0.5 point) for the week ending October 16. The week's average marks the lowest level for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) since the week of June 20, 2013—which also happens to be the last time it averaged below 4 percent.

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Builder Confidence Ends Growth Streak in October

The National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) index of builder sentiment fell in October, ending a four-month streak of gains that resulted in a nine-year peak. The group's Housing Market Index, a measure of homebuilder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes, lost five points in this month’s reading, bringing it to 54. An index value above 50 indicates market perceptions are more positive than negative.

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Home Price Gains Accelerate in August

Monthly home price appreciation gained steam in August even as a growing number of markets reported declines, according to FNC, Inc. The company's Residential Price Index (RPI) posted national growth of 0.8 percent in August, accelerating from July's 0.6 percent increase. Not all cities saw an acceleration, however.

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