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Before Slowing, Home Prices Slid 0.9% in January: LPS

Home prices slid 0.9 percent in January before likely slowing to a crawl in February, analytics provider Lender Processing Services said Monday. The company released a Home Price Index that showed home prices averaging $195,000, signaling a seventh straight month of price declines. Of nearly 600 metro areas, 524 encountered price declines, with a dip in prices for 39 states. Pittsburgh emerged from the largest 26 metro areas as the only city to experience increases in average home prices since January 2005.

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More Americans Think Home Prices Will Rise: Fannie Mae

For many Americans, 2012 may be the year to own a new home and trade up on the mortgage, if results from Fannie Mae's latest survey say anything. The mortgage giant released results Monday that found 33 percent of respondents with the expectation that home prices will increase over the next year, a 5 percentage point climb from the month before and the highest over the last 12 months. The respondents said that home prices could tick up by 0.9 percent over the next year, just as 39 percent of Americans agreed that mortgage rates will likely ascend in the next year.

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Calyx Adds New Account Sales Professional

Mortgage solutions company Calyx Software has announced the addition of a new account sales representative. Calyx recently revealed that Jim Dymek has joined its roster of sales professionals. [IMAGE] In his new role for the company, Dymek will focus on small-to-midsize lenders.

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RFC Adds Industry Veteran as Director of Operations

Residential Finance Corporation has hired a new director of operations for the company's recently opened location in Charlotte, North Carolina. The national mortgage lender has named industry veteran Leslie Bondy to the leadership position for RFC. With more than 20 years of industry experience, Bondy will be responsible for all mortgage lending operations in RFC's Charlotte branch. Her duties encompass processing, underwriting, and closing loans for the company. Bondy joins RFC from her previous role as a senior program manager and operations director for Zenta Mortgage Services.

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DocuTech Hires New Document Compliance Leaders

In Idaho, DocuTech has added two new team members within its mortgage document compliance division. The company recently hired Sandra Griebe to head up DocuTech's integration team, along with appointing Gregg Holsapple as vice president of product management. Griebe joins DocuTech as the company's director of integrations for its mortgage document compliance software. In her new role, Griebe will be responsible for managing and improving integration operations with national technology partners, ensuring that users benefit from simple access methods and product offerings.

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FICO and PRMIA Report Quarterly Findings

A new study from FICO revealed that banking professionals are raising their expectations for loan repayments and credit availability. The survey, which was conducted by the Professional Risk Managers' International Association (PRMIA) on behalf of FICO, showed a reversal in sentiments among U.

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Refi Share of Q4 Originations Reaches 57%: MBA

The refinance share of originations ran up to 57 percent for independent mortgage banks during the fourth quarter last year, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The trade group said in a fourth-quarter performance report Thursday that new numbers for refinance share reflected a jump from 45 percent seen in the third quarter. Chartered financial institutions and independent bankers profited by $1,093 from each loan made in the fourth quarter, a decline from $1,263 per loan in the third quarter last year. Average production income hovered around 58 basis points in the fourth quarter.

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Still-Flat Mortgage Rates Hover Near Record Lows

Mortgage rates changed little from last week, continuing consecutive record lows from previous weeks. Freddie Mac found the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaging 3.98 percent, down a notch from 3.99 percent, while the 15-year loan hovered near 3.21 percent, down from 3.23 percent last week. The 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage fell from 2.90 percent to 2.86 percent, with the 1-year mortgage unchanged at 2.78 percent. Finance Web site Bankrate.com fielded few changes. The 30-year loan inched forward to 4.25 percent from 4.23 percent.

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Initial Unemployment Claims Again Hit Four Year Low

First time claims for unemployment insurance fell 6,000 to 357,000 by the end of March, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The previous week's report were revised upward to show a jump by the end of March to 363,000 instead of the originally reported 357,000. Nonetheless ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô subject to revisions ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the new current week's total represented a four year low. Continuing claims, reported on a one-week lag, also fell, dropping 16,000 to 3,338,000 for the week ended March 24, the third straight week-week decline.

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