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More Americans Feel Confident About Housing: Survey

More Americans feel confident about their household finances, the housing recovery, and the prospect of an economic upturn, Fannie Mae said Wednesday. The mortgage giant drew on poll data from some 1,000 respondents to sketch a blend of guardedness and hopefulness in a National Housing Report. Thirty-five percent of Americans now believe the economy is on the right track, an increase from 19 percent in November, compared with 57 percent who still feel damp about the state of recovery. Fewer respondents fielded layoff concerns.

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Falling Loan Applications Tilt Toward Still-Nascent Recovery

In signs that a stable housing rebound may still be ways off, mortgage applications contracted by 1.2 percent last week, even while the Home Affordable Refinance Program offered a still-steady buttress for refinance activity. The Mortgage Bankers Association found in a weekly survey that mortgage application volume also declined by 10.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis. The Purchase Index went up by a seasonally adjusted 2.1 percent from last week, while it climbed by 14.7 percent on a seasonally unadjusted basis.

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Platinum Data Solutions Appoints New CEO

Platinum Data Solutions has named a new CEO, announcing that industry veteran Phil Huff will join the company following the retirement of the company's founder, Rocky Donathan, who was the previous CEO.

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Home Prices Expected to Continue Stabilizing: Fitch

Lower unemployment figures and higher GDP growth continue to help stabilize home prices amid a still-steady recovery, Fitch Ratings said Monday. The ratings agency found in a report that home prices may plunge 9.1 percent nationally but that the figures remain below estimates of 13.1 percent from the fourth quarter. Fitch said that declines may contract by around 6 percent in lieu of inflation and benefit from improvements in macro-economic indicators, such as unemployment and GDP growth. The report said that still-anemic mortgage volume remains a problem.

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Georgia Bank Failure Raises 2012 Tally to 12

The bank failure tally for 2012 rose Friday as state regulators shuttered a bank in Georgia, emboldening the state's reputation as a graveyard for community banks in recent years. The Georgia Department of Banking and Finance turned off the lights for Doraville-based Global Commerce Bank, which went under with about $143.7 million in total assets and $116.8 million in total deposits. Neighboring Metro City Bank entered into a purchase-and-assumption transaction with the FDIC, scooping up $79 million in assets and leaving the rest to the agency for disposition.

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Last Year’s Housing Doldrums Dampen Obama Scorecard

A troubled year for housing surfaced in a February housing scorecard from the Obama administration Friday, underscoring a still-unsteady pace for home prices, mortgage origination volume, and housing supply. Jointly released by HUD and the Treasury Department, the scorecard reflects an industry still in transition from crisis to recovery. The scorecard cited a National Association of Realtors Home Affordability Index, showing that it moved from 179.1 February last year to 194.9 this year, not far from the level seen in January.

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Hamilton Financial Index Shows Strength Improving

Hamilton Place Strategies has released findings from its analytics initiative, the Hamilton Financial Index. The company releases its examination of the state of the U.S. financial services industry on a semi-annual basis, and Hamilton conducts the study on behalf of the Partnership for a Secure Financial Future.

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