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Builder Confidence at Five-Year High in June: NAHB

Builder confidence rose one point in in June to 29, its highest level since May 2007, the National Association of Home Builders reported Monday. The index for May, originally reported as 29 was revised down to 28. Economists had expected the index to be flat to the original report for May. The total index in June was up 16 points from June 2011, the strongest year-over-year gain since December 1998. The index has improved year-over-year for 12 straight months as it did from July 2009 through June 2010 before going into a five month swoon.

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Commercial Real Estate Expert Named Avison Young Principal

Canadian-based commercial real estate company Avison Young is bolstering leadership in the company's New York office. Finance expert David Eyzenberg has been added as a principal for Avison Young, and he will focus on raising capital and providing investment banking services for the company's clients.

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Three Community Banks Fail, Adding Up to 31 So Far

Three bank failures took place Friday, raising the national tally this year to 31 as fewer community banks fall under, compared with recent years. State regulators shuttered Palakta, Florida-based Putnam State Bank, Marietta, Georgia-based Security Exchange Bank, and Lynchburg, Tennessee-based The Farmers Bank of Lynchburg. The cost to the FDIC: $100 million. With the bank failure tally at 31 this year, the numbers mark a gradual decline in the rate of closure for community banks compared with every year since the financial crisis.

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Aging Population Forces Housing to Mature

The nation's housing developments need to grow up. There are many challenges to address: Support services to allow seniors to age in place, financing residential developments ranging from independent living facilities to nursing homes, creating affordable housing for low-income and low-net-worth seniors, and enabling older homeowners to tap accumulated equity. Fannie Mae's Economic & Strategic Research Group recently published a Data Note detailing the characteristics and housing consumption of the nation's elderly to get a clearer picture of the needs that must be addressed soon.

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Wells Fargo to Streamline Refinance Only In-House Loans

Wells Fargo recently announced that it will accept refinance applications for homeowners with FHA mortgages only if their loans are serviced in-house by the mortgage lender. Vickee Adams, a spokesperson for Wells, said in an e-mailed statement that the lender currently services more than 500,000 customers with FHA home loans that could qualify to save money by refinancing under changes at the agency. The lender will start accepting only refinance applications for in-house loans on Tuesday.

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Stock Valuations May Rise for Housing Despite Euro Crisis: Report

Despite the deteriorating situation in Europe, the United States housing market's recent gains should drive up stocks valuations for building products companies in the near future, Barclays said in a report Tuesday. Barclays├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ó U.S. Building Products & Homebuilding report shows that valuations for building products stocks under the institution's coverage are in the lower half of their historical trading ranges, largely due to "fairly lackluster" first-quarter earnings caused by lag between home purchases and building products sales. Financial crises in the euro zone are also driving down building products stocks.

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