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California Home Sales Sink in May

In May, sales throughout the state totaled an estimated 37,734 units, down 0.7 percent from April and 14.4 percent from May 2013, according to DataQuick. The figure includes both new and existing homes as well as condos. Compared to the long-term May average, last month's sales were down 18.3 percent. "California sales haven't been above average for any particular month in more than eight years," the company said in its latest report.

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Economists Shrink Building Forecasts in Survey

In a survey of economists, the Wall Street Journal found optimism for housing starts through the rest of the year has dropped, thanks to a slow first half. To begin the year, the consensus view among economists participating in the survey was that housing starts would jump 20 percent this year, rising to 1.11 million units from a total of 924,900 in 2013. Now, that prediction is down to 1.05 million.

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HUD Secretary: 2012 Settlement ‘Delivered’ on Promises

After nearly five and a half years spent trying to steer housing out of a ditch, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan is on his way out of that agency and into the Office of Management and Budget—but not before taking a victory lap. In an interview with the Washington Post, Donovan looked back on his time spent directing the agency, reflecting on memories ranging from the administration's reaction to Hurricane Sandy to its efforts to reduce homelessness.

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All-Cash Sales Slowly Waning; Florida Continues to Lead

For March, CoreLogic reports cash sales accounted for 38.7 percent of total home sales, down from 40.2 percent the prior month and 41 percent a year before. Due to the seasonal nature of the housing market, CoreLogic senior economist Molly Boesel said the year-over-year comparison provides a better picture of the decline in cash sales.

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Mortgage Rates Slightly Up Ahead of Fed Meeting

According to Freddie Mac, the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) was 4.20 percent (0.6 point) for the week ending June 12, an increase of 6 basis points from last week's report. Last year, the 30-year FRM hovered just below 4.0 percent. The increase followed last week's release of the May jobs report, which showed payrolls performing more or less as expected.

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Consumer Trust Fades in Wake of Online Security Breaches

In a poll released this month, Gallup reports only 21 percent of consumers put "a lot" of trust in the security efforts taken by companies they regularly do business with. A combined 30 percent have little to no trust at all. While consumers expressed the most trust for banks and credit card companies, that higher confidence could stem from the fact that these businesses are subject to increased regulatory scrutiny as the result of the 2008 financial crisis.

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Report: BofA Mortgage Settlement at an Impasse

Ongoing settlement negotiations between Bank of America and the Justice Department reportedly reached a stalemate Monday. Citing "people briefed on the matter," the New York Times reported late Tuesday that the offer fell far short of the record $17 billion that prosecutors are seeking to resolve the state and federal investigations. BofA is seeking to continue negotiations while the government finishes readying its petition to file in federal court.

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Road to Recovery Expected to Lengthen

In a market update, Wells Fargo's Economics Group contends that the road to housing recovery will be longer—and much bumpier—than expected. The group said that the "lack of a rebound in home sales this spring has reinforced our view that there was more than harsh winter weather behind the recent slide in home sales and mortgage applications."

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Former eBay Exec Joins LoanLogics

LoanLogics, a company specializing in loan quality management and performance analytics, announced the hiring of Leah Fox, its new SVP of customer success. An expert in technology and ...

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