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MacArthur Foundation Requesting Research Proposals on ‘How Housing Matters’

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has issued a request for housing research proposals as part of its How Housing Matters to Families and Communities program. The program is a five-year, $25 million research initiative designed to deepen the literature on the effect that investments in housing have on social and economic outcomes.

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Asking Prices Increase, Discounts on the Decline

Asking prices on homes improved on a yearly basis for the seventh straight month in November, according to the latest report from FNC, Inc. The report also shows a steady improvement in liquidity conditions throughout 2012--meaning the gap between asking prices and selling prices is closing, even as prices rise. The average home sale in October closed at 6.6 percent below the asking price, a year-over-year improvement from 9.7 percent.

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Treasury Sheds Last AIG Shares

The Treasury announced Tuesday it will sell the remainder of its shares of American International Group, Inc. common stock. The move brings Treasury's stake in the company to an end. Together, Treasury and the Federal Reserve invested $182.3 billion to stabilize the failing insurance behemoth in September 2008 at the start of the financial crisis. In addition to recouping the total $182.3 billion, the Treasury incurred a positive return of $5 billion, while the Federal Reserve received a positive return of $17.7 billion.

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Report: White House Preparing to Replace DeMarco

Edward DeMarco's days directing the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) may be numbered, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. "People familiar with the discussions" told The Wall Street Journal the White House is preparing to nominate a new director. According to those sources, administration officials are still in the process of gathering names for potential nominees. DeMarco has no shortage of nemeses both in and out of Washington, though he's not without supporters.

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Stewart Title Appoints Florida Agency Services District Manager

New

Stewart Title Guaranty's Florida operation gained a new face. The company announced the appointment of Kurt Blass as Florida agency services district manager. Blass brings 12 years of financial and management experience in the mortgage and insurance industries, having worked as regional controller for Stewart for eight years.

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