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Q1 Bank Earnings Down 7.6% on Lower Mortgage Revenue

First-quarter bank earnings dropped more than $3 billion compared to last year as mortgage-related income fell, FDIC reported Wednesday. FDIC reported the decline was "mainly attributable to a $7.1 billion (10.7 percent) decline in noninterest income," about $4 billion of which came from decreased mortgage revenues as interest rates continued to rise.

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Home Prices Rise in Q1 Despite Slow Sales

Despite disappointing home sales in the first quarter of the year as winter storms took their toll, home prices increased 1.3 percent over the first three months of the year on a seasonally-adjusted basis for the purchase-only market, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). FHFA's principal economist, Andrew Leventis, cited "modest inventories of homes available for sale" as a major factor in the first-quarter increase.

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Ohio Bank Shuts Down in 8th Closure of 2014

Another FDIC-insured bank closed its doors over the long weekend, bringing the national tally to eight so far this year. According to a release from the agency, Columbia Savings Bank of Cincinnati, Ohio, was shut down by the Ohio Division of Financial Institutions. As of March 31, the closed bank had roughly $36.5 million in assets and $29.5 million in deposits, "essentially all" of which is going to Indiana-based United Fidelity Bank.

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Confirmed: Obama Nominates Julián Castro for HUD Secretary

Following recent reports that the San Antonio mayor was being discussed to take over as HUD secretary, the White House has confirmed the nomination of Julián Castro for the position. Meanwhile, current HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan is headed to the White House Office of Management and Budget.

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High-End Home Sales Booming as Lower Tiers Fizzle

While home sales have largely struggled so far this year, there's one market segment that's actually holding up well, according to Redfin: the very highest price tier. "For the top 1 percent, the housing market is still booming," said Redfin analyst Troy Martin in a blog post. "But for the rest of the market, the recovery is running out of gas."

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Consumer Confidence Improves with Payroll Gains

After dipping in April, the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index saw modest improvement in May as optimism for the job market grew. The index rebounded to 83.0 in the latest reading, up from a downwardly revised 81.7 in April, the group reported Tuesday.

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Loan Risk Surges in Final April Index

Nearly 12 percent of home purchase loans in today’s market run the risk of default in the event of an economic downturn, according to a new report from the American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI) International Center on Housing Risk. According to AEI, last month’s rising index was caused largely by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Rural Housing Services (RHS) increasing their market share, which was up to an estimated 32.2 percent in April.

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March Price Gains Beat Forecasts Despite Slowdown

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, released Tuesday, recorded a seasonally adjusted 1.2 percent monthly rise in prices across 20 of the country's top markets. Compared to a year ago, March prices were up 12.4 percent, a step back from the 12.9 percent annual increase recorded in February. "The year-over-year changes suggest that prices are rising more slowly," said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

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