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May Mortgage Apps Reverse Downward Trend

Using information reported weekly by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), research firm Capital Economics calculated a 2.0 percent rise in application volumes throughout May, a reversal from April's 4.8 percent drop. The increase came despite a 3.1 percent decline in the month's final week, bringing activity to a six-week low.

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Beige Book Records Continued Growth in All Districts

Fed

In its latest Beige Book, released Wednesday, the Federal Reserve noted economic activity has expanded in recent months, with the pace of growth "characterized as moderate in the Boston, New York, Richmond, Chicago, Minneapolis, Dallas, and San Francisco Districts, and modest in the remaining regions." Wednesday's summary reinforces comments offered by Fed Chair Janet Yellen recently.

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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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Home Price Gains Slow to 14-Month Low

CoreLogic reported continued gains in its latest Home Price Index (HPI), though the latest growth was the lowest in the last 14 months. Including distressed sales, the company recorded a 10.5 percent year-over-year increase in its index, marking 26 consecutive months of yearly gains. Nationally, prices are expected to rise by 6.3 percent by next April, further slowing to what analysts say should be a more sustainable pace.

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Maryland Sees 9th Bank Collapse of 2014

Following a prior collapse in Ohio, FDIC announced over the weekend the closure of another bank: Slavie Federal Savings Bank of Bel Air, Maryland, has been closed. The agency entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Bay Bank, FSB of Lutherville, Maryland, to assume all the deposits of the recently shuttered Slavie Federal Savings Bank.

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Economists Forecast Moderating Price Gains

In a survey of 31 economists, Reuters arrived at a median forecast of price growth of 7.5 percent this year, down significantly from the 13.4 percent improvement recorded in the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index last December. The survey also found that, despite concerns from some analysts of overheating as price gains far outpace the historical average, the median judgment of economists surveyed is that the housing market is situated right in the middle between extremely overvalued and extremely undervalued.

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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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