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Lackluster Spending Tilts Against Homebuying: Freddie

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac tied weak homebuyer demand to a drop in consumer expenditures in an outlook it released Monday. The GSE captured a look at the financial mood of consumers by releasing the U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook, which makes forecasts according to key economic indicators that it uses. The outlook indexed overall economic health for the nation, finding a small uptick by domestic aggregate demand as it climbed to 3.6 percent ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the second largest gain over the last five years.

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Nevada Attorney General Charges Two from LPS

Lender Processing Services is under examination from the Nevada Attorney General for issues encompassing specific incidents with the company's document processing and practices. The state's Attorney General recently indicted two employees within LPS on 606 counts of fraud, alleging that the two forged signatures and notarization on mortgage-related paperwork.

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Housing Market Will Stay Flat in 2012: Fannie Mae

Even with a pickup in the general economy, overall growth will remain flat into the New Year, slowing any impact from the housing market and delaying significant changes, according to a think tank internal to Fannie Mae. The mortgage company described circumstances going forward as those vulnerable to weak jobs growth, external shocks from the euro zone, and pickups or drops in consumer spending and confidence. Troubled euro zone markets continued to weigh down on the forecast.

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Home Sales Up 9% Year-Over-Year: RE/MAX

Despite falling month-over-month, home sales crept forward by 9 percent year-over-year, according to a recent monthly housing report from RE/MAX. Home sales meanwhile declined 9.8 percent from September to October, even while sales prices fell 5.4 percent year-over-year ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô a bipolar trend that portrays the market as one slowly recovering from the financial crisis. The report found home sales rising for the fourth conservative month on an annual basis, as foreclosures plummeted for the sixteenth consecutive month.

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Starts Decline Only 0.3% in October, Beating Forecasts

Steadying homebuilder confidence translated into less bad news for the housing market Thursday, as the Commerce Department reported that housing starts more or less hovered around expectations. October figures for single-family housing starts trumped estimates from September, with a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 628,000 beating expectations for 630,000. On a year-over-year basis, the boost in numbers reflects a 16.5-percent upward revision from a 539,000 housing units. Housing completions hovered around a seasonally adjusted 584,000.

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Europe Debt Crisis Keeps Mortgage Rates at Record Lows

Mortgage rates ran a tepid streak started three weeks ago by hovering at around 4 percent this week, according to Freddie Mac, largely because investors continue to flee European sovereign bonds for the safe haven of U.S. Treasury debt. For Freddie, rates for the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage inched forward by a percentage point, placing it at 4 percent after the loan averaged 3.99 percent. Bankrate.com noted the same difference, reporting that the 30-year loan fell to 4.24 percent this week, down from 4.25 percent last week.

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