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GAO Report Examines Post-Recession Bank Collapses

From 2008 through 2011, 414 banks failed across the nation, resulting in estimated costs to the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) of about $42.8 billion, according to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GOA). When examining the cause of bank failures from 2008 through 2011, GOA found banks with less than $1 billion in assets were especially vulnerable to commercial real estate losses. GOA also found instances of "nontraditional, riskier funding sources" in many failed banks.

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Fitch Warns of Unsustainable Price Growth

According to a report from Fitch, home prices have risen at their greatest pace since 2005, but in certain markets, technical factors--including low mortgage rates, tight supply of existing for-sale homes, and weak levels of new home construction--rather than "fundamentals" acted as the driving force behind the price gains over the past few quarters. In order to determine sustainability, Fitch conducted an analysis using its Sustainable Home Price (SHP) model.

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Zillow Brings on Industry Vet as VP of Strategic Partnerships

New

Zillow, Inc., announced real estate industry vet Chris Crocker is joining the team as the company's VP of strategic partnerships. Crocker brings to the position more than 16 years of experience in the real estate industry, having served most recently as regional VP of operations for the Southwestern U.S. region of NRT, LLC.

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RFC Promotes Branch Manager to VP of Sales

RFC Promotes Branch Manager to VP of Sales Residential Finance Corporation (RFC), an award-winning nationwide mortgage lender headquartered in Ohio and with branches around the country, announced the promotion of branch manager Joe Buxton to the position of VP of sales.

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155K Jobs Added in December, Unemployment Rate Flat at 7.8%

Unemployment

The nation├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós unemployment rate remained at 7.8 percent in December as payrolls increased 155,000, slightly ahead of consensus forecasts, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday. Economists had forecast payrolls would grow by 150,000, slightly higher than the 146,000 increase in payrolls originally reported for November, and that the unemployment rate would remain at November├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós 7.7 percent.

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Trulia: 82 of Top 100 Metros Post 2012 Price Gains

After measuring improvements over the two years, Trulia ranked Las Vegas as the top turnaround market in 2012 based on its recovery in asking prices. Trulia also found nine out of the top 10 turnaround markets were located West and Southwest, and the top six saw double digit increases. In 2011, only 12 out of 100 metros saw price increases compared to 82 in 2012. In addition, none of the 100 largest metros saw price declines greater than 10 percent in 2012 compared to 6 in 2011.

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NREIS Closing Pittsburgh Office, Laying Off 215

National Real Estate Information Services (NREIS) is shuttering the doors to its Pittsburgh office in February, according to a Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification (WARN) Act notice posted on the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry's website.

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Veros: Housing Market in ‘Full Recovery Mode’ After Hitting Bottom

The national housing market has hit bottom and is now in full recovery mode, according to Veros Real Estate Solutions, a provider of risk management and valuation services. While there remains--as always--some variance across markets, Veros predicts prices in two-thirds of all markets across the nation will either remain flat or rise over the next 12 months. This is the first time since the recession that Veros has forecast gains (or at least no declines) for such a large proportion of markets.

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