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Asking Prices Up 10.0% Year-on-Year; Urban Areas Lead

Trulia found that month-to-month asking prices nationally in urban markets rose 1.2 percent in March. Quarter-to-quarter, prices rose 2.9 percent in March, reflecting three straight months of solid month-over-month gains. Both calculations were seasonally adjusted. More encouraging is that asking prices are up a full 10 percent since last year, rising in 97 of the 100 largest metros.

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Study Suggests Pre- and Post-Crisis Lending Discrimination in Twin Cities

According to a report put out Wednesday by University of Minnesota’s Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity (IMO), Twin Cities lenders have been treating minority mortgage applicants unequally for 10 years—first by originating an inordinate number of subprime loans to minority borrowers before the crash and then by disproportionately limiting credit access to those same communities.

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Mortgage Banker Alliance Reports Record Loan Volume for 2013

Member companies of Lenders One Mortgage Cooperative achieved a new record in loan volume throughout 2013, the group reported this week. According to a release, the cooperative—a national alliance of community mortgage bankers, correspondent lenders, and suppliers of mortgage products and services—collectively originated $224 billion in volume last year, a 22 percent increase over 2012.

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CRMnow, LendingQB Announce Product Integration

CRMnow, a customer relationship management (CRM) firm catering to lenders, announced a new integration between its own Mortgage iQ CRM and the LendingQB loan origination system (LOS) designed to save time and enhance data integrity for mortgage brokers and bankers.

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Mortgage Rates Reverse Upward Trend

In its weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey, Freddie Mac reported the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaging a rate of 4.34 percent (0.7 point) for the week ending April 10, a decline from 4.41 percent last week. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed was down nearly a full percentage point: 3.43 percent. Bankrate.com’s weekly national survey showed similar rate changes.

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OCC Counsel Addresses Regulatory Complaints from Community Banks

In a testimony given in front of the House Financial Services Committee this week, OCC chief counsel Amy Friend addressed frustrations stemming from regulatory burdens on community banks banks. Friend's testimony offered a conciliatory nod to the plight of smaller banks while noting particular ways the OCC addresses smaller bank's particular grievances with the Dodd-Frank Act.

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Freddie Mac Extends Mortgage Relief to Victims in Washington Disaster

Freddie Mac released on Wednesday an announcement "urgently reminding" servicers about the full range of relief options available to borrowers affected by flooding and other natural disasters in Washington. The company also made special note to remind servicers to consider relief policies for borrowers who work in eligible disaster areas but live in unaffected areas.

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Citi Announces $1.13B Offer to Settle Securities Claims

Citigroup announced this week it has agreed to pay approximately $1.13 billion to settle repurchase claims on residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS). According to the bank’s announcement, Citi has agreed to make a binding offer to the trustees of 68 Citi-sponsored mortgage trusts that issued a combined $59.4 billion in RMBS from 2005–2008.

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Spring Brings Renewed Demand for Homes

According to Redfin’s latest Real-Time Demand Pulse—a monthly analysis of tour and offer activity across 23 U.S. markets—homebuyer demand bounced back in March, showing promise after months of little activity. While the pickup in buyer interest bodes well for the spring and summer seasons, Redfin analyst Ellen Haberle noted March's data should be taken with a grain of salt.

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