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Economic Concerns Weigh on May Housing Confidence

Consumers' attitudes about housing diminished somewhat last month as economic worries weighed on their minds, according to new survey results from Fannie Mae. "While recent housing activity suggests that the worst of the housing slump may be behind us, this caution among consumers supports our expectation that the rebound in home sales will likely be too modest to pull sales for all of 2014 ahead of last year," Doug Duncan, chief economist.

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Report: BofA, Feds Negotiating $12B Settlement

Citing reports from "people familiar with the negotiations," the Wall Street Journal reported late Thursday that Bank of America has been working fervently over the week to come to an agreement with the Justice Department and put an end to speculation on the potential size of the settlement. Though the final numbers remain unconfirmed, if true, the settlement would rival last year's historic $13 billion paid by JPMorgan Chase to resolve similar allegations.

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Mortgage Credit Availability Increases in May

The Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), a monthly gauge of credit access based on metrics and underwriting criteria from more than 85 lenders, increased 1.14 percent from April to May, reading 115.1 in the latest measure. According to the group, May's gain came "partially as a result of a slight increase in the availability of jumbo loans."

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Borrowers’ Financial Health Declines as LTVs Rise

In its most recent quarterly report, LendingTree recorded a Borrower Health Score of 77.7 in the year's opening months, a decline of 4.5 points from the prior quarter. While the latest drop illustrates Americans still have some ground to make up from the financial crash, Q1's score is still 1.3 points above where it was a year ago, implying "a broader trend of improving borrower qualification levels," the company says.

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Half of Millennial Buyers Plan to Seek Help from Parents

According to a consumer survey conducted by Trulia, 60 percent of American adults age 18–34 say a lack of savings, poor credit, and severe debt stand between them and homeownership. As a result, 50 percent would have to ask for help from their parents or grandparents to put together enough money to clear the initial hurdle of making a down payment.

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Majority of Americans Believe Housing Crisis Isn’t Over

In its second annual survey of housing attitudes, the MacArthur Foundation found 51 percent of American consumers still believe the country is in the midst of its housing crisis, while another 19 percent believe the worst is yet to come. Only 25 percent said they believe "the housing crisis is pretty much over." At least part of that pessimism stems from challenges related to housing affordability in today's economy.

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18% of Americans Say Owning a Home Not Worth Risk

A poll conducted by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) shows 18 percent of respondents are not willing to assume the risks and obligations associated with taking out a mortgage loan. NFCC says the findings are consistent with the Census Bureau's latest household data showing a national homeownership rate of 64.8 percent in the first quarter—a 19-year low.

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Prices Fully Recovered in One-Third of Top U.S. Markets

Homes.com released its Local Market Index for March, recording year-over-year price gains in all 100 of the country's top markets and in each of the additional 200 midsize markets surveyed. The most recent increases brought another handful of markets up to a full recovery, with a total of 102—35 of the largest and 67 midsize—rebounding completely. Another 57 percent of surveyed markets have come back at least halfway from their lowest recessionary price.

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Home Shoppers Cool on Limited Housing Stock

In its latest Real-Time Demand Pulse, Redfin recorded a 2.1 percent month-over-month decline in customers taking home tours in April. "New listings get the attention of would-be buyers, prompting them to go on home tours," said Nela Richardson, chief economist at Redfin. "However, new listings increased just 8 percent in April, compared with 25 percent growth in March, and that slower growth had a dampening effect on home tours."

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Rate Resets to Spell Trouble for Underwater Borrowers

Based on mortgage performance data as of the end of April, Black Knight Financial Services noted there are approximately 2 million modified mortgages are due for mortgage rate resets in the coming years. With the economic recovery still hobbling along, the company estimates more than 40 percent of that group remain underwater.

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