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Credit Unions Originate Record Number of Mortgages

First-lien home loans helped move credit unions to set new records with loan originations over the first quarter. Callahan & Associates, a Washington, D.C.-based law firm, said Monday that first mortgage originations reached $26 billion by the end of the quarter, accounting for 36 percent of originations. Credit unions reportedly originated 160,746 first-lien loans, with mortgages averaging $161,549. Consumer loan originations ticked up 16.6 percent to reach $39 billion quarter-over-quarter but fell year-over-year.

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Fitch: G-SIFIs Need to Raise $566B Ahead of Basel III

Fitch Ratings published a report Thursday estimating that 29 global systemically important financial institutions may need to raise about $566 billion in common equity in order to satisfy new Basel III capital rules by the end of 2018. The $566 billion figure reflects a 23 percent increase relative to the institutions├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ó aggregate common equity of $2.5 trillion. Though the new Basil III rules will not be implemented until 2018, Fitch noted that the global banks will likely face market and supervisory pressure to meet those targets before then.

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Mortgage Builder Acquires GCC Servicing Systems

Loan origination software provider Mortgage Builder announced Tuesday that it has reached an agreement to acquire GCC Servicing Systems, a leading loan servicing software provider. GCC is the creator a G/Serv, a mortgage servicing software that automates servicing administration function and is commonly used among mid-tier lenders and mortgage companies, a market sector it shares with Mortgage Builder. The acquisition of GCC will allow Mortgage Builder to offer a new platform for lenders.

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Fannie Mae Forecasts ‘Sluggish’ Growth in 2012

Despite some slowdown in housing activity at the end of the first quarter, Fannie Mae projects that home sales will rise and the economy will continue to grow in 2012. Though the first quarter of the year saw substantial housing activity compared to last year, Fannie Mae's internal think tank noticed a drop in momentum late in the quarter. According to the group, this drop may be mirroring many economic indicators and may be a result of the year's unusually warm weather pulling activity slightly forward. Economic growth is at 2.2 percent.

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NTC Offers Support, Resources to Congress

Lawmakers came together with officers of Nationwide Title Clearing to discuss multiple issues in today's residential mortgage industry. In a company statement, NTC said that it hoped to offer the company's support as a resource as members of Congress strive to create industry-wide best practices.

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Bank of the West Touts Rise in Refinance Applications

HARP 2.0 is stimulating an uptick in mortgage applications for Bank of the West. The financial institution recently reported notable increases in loan applications during April as homeowners move to capitalize on the government's enhancements to the refinancing initiative. he California-based bank is currently predicting that roughly 20 percent of its loan volume for 2012 will come from refinancing borrowers taking advantage of HARP 2.0. Bank of the West has been savvy in its pursuit of homeowners interested in refinancing.

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Median Sales Prices Increase 3.2% in April: RE/MAX

The median sales price for homes sold in April went up 3.2 percent higher than the month before, ticking up to $161,000, according to RE/MAX. The real estate company released a national housing report that tracked a 5.9 percent increase in median sales prices year-over-year. April also marked the third straight month that home prices went up year-over-year after close to two years of declines. Of 53 metro areas surveyed by RE/MAX, 43 reported higher sales prices last month than the year before, an increase from 36 metro areas in March.

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LoanSifter Celebrating 22 Consecutive Quarters of Growth

In Wisconsin, LoanSifter has reason to celebrate, following the company's announcement that its revenues have grown during 22 consecutive quarters. Statistics from LoanSifter, a provider of product eligibility and pricing software solutions for the mortgage banking industry, indicate an 11.6 percent increase in revenue between the final quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of the current year.

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Initial Unemployment Claims Creeping Up

First time claims were unchanged at 370,000 for the week ended May 12 after the number of initial claims filed for the previous week was revised upward, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists had expected initial claims would decrease to 365,000. The Labor Department had initially reported 367,000 claims filed for the week ended May 5. The revision turned that report to an increase of 2,000 from a previously reported decline of 1,000. Continuing claims ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô reported on a one week lag ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô increased 18,000 to 3,265,000.

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Commercial Sector Predicts Rocky Ride for 2012

The Real Estate Roundtable's new quarterly survey demonstrated a lack of confidence in the outlook for 2012 among commercial real estate executives. According to data from the group's Sentiment Survey, the market improvements seen on a year-over-year basis aren't mitigating concerns surrounding global economic risks and tax issues in the commercial sector.

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