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Mortgage Employment Increases in Q3

Hiring in the mortgage industry increased in Q3 for the fifth straight quarter, according to Mortgage Daily's Mortgage Employment Index. The index shows 8,711 hires were made in the year's third quarter, up more than 3,000 from the last quarter and nearly 3,500 from Q3 2011. Even with an estimated 5,785 layoffs, the industry saw a net increase of nearly 3,000 jobs--more than double the gain in Q2. For 2012's first three quarters, mortgage and real estate finance companies recruited 7,230 more people than they've laid off.

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Fannie Mae Revises Forecast in Light of Positive Developments

According to Fannie Mae, the fundamentals are set in place for a solid housing recovery. The GSE revised its housing forecast for this year and the next to reflect changes made in the housing market, including low interest rates, rising prices, and a healing labor market. Analysts for the company also note that there is an upside risk to their forecast, as "pent-up demand amid stronger household formation may result in stronger housing activity next year" than what's expected.

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Fixed Rates Find New Lows for Second Week in a Row

Amid increases in new construction, homebuilder confidence, and existing home sales, Freddie Mac reported fixed mortgage rates reaching new record lows for the second week in a row. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate fell to 3.31 percent (0.7 point) over the week ending November 21. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage also experienced a decline this week, falling from 2.65 percent to 2.63 percent (0.7 point), according to Freddie Mac's data.

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AFR Mortgage Rolls Out Reverse Mortgage Products

Despite significant current challenges in the reverse mortgage market, American Financial Resources, Inc., recently rolled out a full range of related loan products. Based in Parsippany, New Jersey, AFR Mortgage will launch the new initiative in the company's home state, giving borrowers who are over the age of 62 access to the specialty loans.

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Wingspan Receives Award for 2011 Growth, Projects Further Expansion

Wingspan Portfolio Advisors, based out of North Texas, has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in the area, the company announced. Wingspan was one of the top two recipients of the Dallas 100 Awards, marking it as the second fastest-growing privately held company in the Dallas Metroplex.

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