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Census Examines Main Causes for Moving

Among the millions of households who moved between 2012 and 2013, a study finds the most important reason was to find a new or better home. According to the Census Bureau, 11.7 percent of surveyed participants moved in the year, with 48 percent moving for housing reasons compared to family or employment. All told, 17.2 million gave a housing-related reason for moving.

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Home Price Gains Showing Signs of Stability

According to Trulia, for the first time since July 2012, none of the 100 largest markets in May—anywhere in the United States—saw home prices rise more than 20 percent year-over-year. This is the first sign of sustainability in the housing market in years and is, according to Trulia' chief economist, Jed Kolko, a welcome change from the hyper-rebounding that occurred in some markets, particularly in the West.

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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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Credit Unions Report Slowdown in Q1 Originations

Credit unions continued to grow during the first quarter of 2014, although higher interest rates slowed mortgage originations, according to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). The group reported that the pace of mortgage originations slowed in the first quarter, down to $42.6 billion in Q1 2014 from $102.9 billion in the first quarter of 2013.

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May Jobless Rate Unchanged as Payrolls Rise by 217K

After surpassing expectations in April, the labor market performed slightly better than anticipated in May, according to numbers released Friday by the Department of Labor. According to the government, the economy added 217,000 new jobs last month, beating out a consensus forecast of 213,000 among economists surveyed by Econoday. The gain—a retreat from April's downwardly revised estimate of 282,000 jobs added—left the national unemployment rate unchanged at 6.3 percent.

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More Metros Find Stable Footing

The First American Leading Markets Index (LMI) , a report released Thursday by the National Association of Home Builders showed that 56 of approximately 350 metro markets nationwide have returned to or exceeded their last normal levels of economic and housing activity, as recorded before the recession. The remaining 294 metros are, on average, about 88 percent of the way to where they should be.

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Connecticut Home Sales See First Annual Decline in 13 Months

Despite reaching their highest level so far this year, April home sales in Connecticut disappointed compared to year-ago levels. According to the Warren Group, single-family home sales in the Nutmeg State totaled 1,816 in April, down 7.9 percent from April 2013’s 1,973 but an improvement over 1,589 in March. It was the first time in more than a year in which home sales fell annually.

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Mortgage Rates Move Up from 2014 Lows

In its latest survey results, Freddie Mac recorded the average 30-year fixed rate at 4.14 percent (0.5 point) for the week ending June 5, up from last week's average 4.12 percent. A year ago, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) was 3.91 percent and rising. The 15-year FRM also moved up this week, hitting an average of 3.23 percent (0.5 point).

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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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