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Home Shoppers Cool on Limited Housing Stock

In its latest Real-Time Demand Pulse, Redfin recorded a 2.1 percent month-over-month decline in customers taking home tours in April. "New listings get the attention of would-be buyers, prompting them to go on home tours," said Nela Richardson, chief economist at Redfin. "However, new listings increased just 8 percent in April, compared with 25 percent growth in March, and that slower growth had a dampening effect on home tours."

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Construction Spending Climbs 0.2% in April

The Department of Commerce estimates overall construction outlays came to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $953.5 billion in April, just up from March's revised $951.6 billion (originally reported at $942.5 billion). Despite the small increase, the gain brought spending levels up to their highest since March 2009.

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Rate Resets to Spell Trouble for Underwater Borrowers

Based on mortgage performance data as of the end of April, Black Knight Financial Services noted there are approximately 2 million modified mortgages are due for mortgage rate resets in the coming years. With the economic recovery still hobbling along, the company estimates more than 40 percent of that group remain underwater.

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Report: April Inventory ‘Robust’ Compared to 2013

Home prices and inventories moved more in balance with each other across the country in April, according to the latest National Housing Trend Report from Realtor.com. The company believes the bumps in both inventory and asking price suggest a strengthening national economy.

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Consumer Sentiment Drops with Wage Expectations

In contrast to a release earlier in the week showing an increase in consumer confidence, the University of Michigan's Index of Consumer Sentiment retreated in May as Americans expressed little hope for income growth. The index, released monthly by UMich and Thomson Reuters, fell back to 81.9 from April's final level of 84.1 and May 2013's 84.5.

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‘Financial Instability’ Biggest Factor Stopping Potential Homebuyers

Many potential homebuyers are not in the market to buy because of feelings financial instability, according to a survey released by banking data firm RateWatch Thursday. The survey, Home Lending: Today's Customer, shows that 38 percent of non-homeowners making between $100,000 and $149,000 surveyed listed financial instability as a contributing factor for not buying a home. This was consistent across all income brackets studied.

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Mortgage Insurance Costs Catch Home Shoppers Unaware

According to research results put out by TD Bank, 37 percent of homeowners who purchased within the last decade required MI. Looking at just the last two years, that number is up to 43 percent, reflecting the troubles buyers are having meeting normal down payment minimums as home prices march up. Of those who have had to go with insurance, 65 percent said the additional premium left them paying more than they had originally anticipated.

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Mortgage Rates Slide for Fifth Straight Week

In its weekly released Primary Mortgage Market Survey, Freddie Mac found the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) was 4.12 percent (0.6 point) for the week ending May 29, down from 4.14 percent last week and the lowest 30-year fixed average since October 2013.

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