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Home Sales, Housing Markets Will Lift in 2012: Fannie Mae

The economy will drift upward in 2012 as incremental changes take place in the housing market, with a divisive and uncertain policy environment the darkest cloud on the horizon, Fannie Mae said in an economic outlook Friday. Doug Duncan, VP and chief economist with Fannie, offered up the outlook from the GSE's Economics and Mortgage Analysis Group. Fannie Mae said that total home sales could hit 4.7 million in 2012, reflecting a 3.5-percent boost from total sales, new and existing, last year. The forecast said that home sales could reach as many as 5 million come 2013.

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Total Mortgage Adds New National Sales Manager

Total Mortgage Services, LLC, has announced the appointment of a new national retail sales manager. Joining Total Mortgage with more than 25 years of industry experience, Neil Bader will now be responsible for leading the company's retail origination channel.

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Mortgage Applications Rose 4.5% Last Week: MBA

Mortgage applications shot up 4.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis last week, above averages seen year-over-year but far below gains in overall volume that occurred over the last several months. Releasing the figures in a weekly survey Wednesday, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported mortgage application volume expanding 34.4 percent on a seasonally unadjusted basis. The refinance share of mortgage activity contracted to 80.8 percent of application volume.

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Three in Four Voters Back Federal Housing Aid: NAHB

Americans from both political parties overwhelmingly value a role for the federal government in housing and oppose any efforts by lawmakers to eliminate traditional home buying incentives, according to a recent survey. The National Association of Home Builders polled more than 1,500 likely voters from swing states across the country in early January, with help from conservative-leaning Public Opinion Strategies and left-leaning Lake Research Partners. Three out of four voters agreed that it is appropriate and reasonable for the federal government to back homeownership.

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MetLife Departs Forward Mortgage Origination Business

Life insurer MetLife announced Tuesday that it will cease originating forward residential loans and exit the business entirely. The company said in a statement that it would continue to service existing customers, even while it ceases accepting new loan applications for forward mortgages. MetLife also said that it would continue to originate reverse mortgages. MetLife said it expected to incur as much as $90 to $110 million in costs after tax next year for leaving the business.

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Home Prices Fell 0.8% in October: LPS

Home prices ticked down on average by 0.8 percent in October, reaching $200,000 and marking the fifth straight month for declines for industry figures, according to Lender Processing Services. In releasing the national home price index, the analytics provider also said that November may have fielded about 0.5 percent in home prices declines. The new numbers for home prices follow ongoing declines from 2006, at which time U.S. housing inventory amounted to $10.6 trillion ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô and since fell to $7.5 trillion.

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AFR Appoints New National Sales Director

Mortgage lender American Financial Resources, Inc., has added a new national sales director. AFR recently announced the appointment of Paul Impagliazzo to the position, and he will now be responsible for the company's wholesale and correspondent lending divisions.

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New CIO for Mortgage Contracting Services

Mortgage Contracting Services has appointed a new chief information officer, with the announcement that Tod Phelps will join the firm. In his role for the company, Phelps will be responsible for developing new strategies for all information technology initiatives.

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Veros Approves SharperLending for UCDP Integration

Gaining industry approval, SharperLending LLC has announced that Veros Real Estate Solutions confirmed its appraisal firewall platform for integration with the Uniform Collateral Data Portal (UCDP). SharperLending released its appraisal firewall interface to the UCDP on December 10, and Veros has now declared the web-based program operationally ready for submissions.

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Generation Mortgages Selects Tech Provider

Mortgage Cadence, LLC, has been selected by Generation Mortgage Company to replace the company's current lending system. Generation will begin using Mortgage Cadence's Orchestrator, Finale Document Services, and Opus systems to gain enhanced end-to-end support for its mortgage lending business.

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