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SIFMA Encourages Alignment of GSE Operations

In a letter filed Wednesday to FHFA, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association expressed its view that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should seek to align their operations as much as possible. The alignment would help set the stage and ease transition into the future for the GSEs, SIFMA suggests. Market performance shows a gap between the perceived and actual performance and liquidity of mortgage backed securities issued by the GSEs. The liquidity differential impacts the cost and efficiency of the GSE securitization process and the ability of the Enterprises to fund mortgage lending.

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Mortgage Applications Jump Highest Since 2009: MBA

Mortgage applications jumped by 18 percent from the week earlier, riding a refinance wave to numbers not seen since 2009, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The trade group found that the Refinance Index climbed up by over 19 percent from the week before, reaching the highest level for an index since April 2009. The refinance share of mortgage activity soared to 79 percent of total volume. He added that loans refinanced through the Home Affordable Refinance Program steadied in recent weeks.

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Dexter Star Lists Hal Levitt-Designed Home for $1.995M

Michael C. Hall, whose famous for his portrayal of serial killer Dexter in the Showtime series of the same name, is braving the dangers of the Los Angeles housing market. Recently listing his Hollywood Hills home for $1.995 million, Hall is looking to unload his classic Hal Levitt-designed home.

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Homeowners Driving More Mortgage Purchases in New England

Record-breaking low mortgage rates and rising home sales are leading to increase mortgage activity in New England, according to The Warren Group's Mortgage MarketShare Module. According to the data, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island have all seen strong mortgage activity so far in 2012, with Massachusetts showing the strongest numbers. Activity in the state is up more than 28 percent, rising to 99,097 in the first four months of the year ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô an increase from 76,930 during the same period in 2011. Purchase mortgages increased almost 13 percent year-over-year to 13,376.

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Thirty-Year Loan Crashes Into New Low as Europe Scrambles

The crisis of confidence in Europe once again drove mortgage rates to record lows this week, with real estate Web site Zillow reporting that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage slammed into 3.56 percent, the lowest it has recorded since it started surveying rates. Zillow said that the 30-year loan initially rose to 3.62 percent this week after euro zone authorities decided to bail out Spain with favorable terms. The rate for a 15-year loan hovered at 2.95 percent, while interest rates for 5-year and 1-year adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 2.68 percent.

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RE/MAX Wants to Know What Moves You

RE/MAX is rolling out a sweet social media contest with some very special prizes at stake. The company recently launched the inaugural What Moves You? competition, which honors weekly winners who send in creative submissions capturing the compelling stories behind their decision to move.

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B of A Agrees to Maternity Discrimination Settlement

HUD announced Thursday that Bank of America has agreed to pay $161,180 to settle allegations of maternity-based discrimination. A complaint had been filed by the Fair Housing Council of Orange County against BofA alleging that one of its San Jose branches refused to refinance a woman's mortgage because she was on maternity leave. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in mortgage lending and real estate-related transactions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status, or disability. BofA was alleged to be in violation of the provisions protecting sex and family status.

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More Real Estate Agents, Brokers Prefer Romney: Survey

Some 66 percent of real estate agents and brokers disapprove of President Barack Obama's performance, with many preferring GOP presidential forerunner and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the coming election, according to real estate company HomeGain. The home valuations company released results from a second-quarter survey Monday that polled 400 real estate agents and more than 1,700 homeowners. The company also found more optimism among real estate professionals about home values.

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