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New Lending Partnership for National Builder

National homebuilder KB Home is partnering with Nationstar Mortgage to offer financing on its homes. KB Home announced Nationstar as its preferred mortgage lender this week, noting, "The agreement with Nationstar is intended to offer KB Home customers a seamless home buying experience, from purchase and mortgage application to picking up the keys to their new home." Nationstar's broad national presence was a major catalyst behind the establishment of the partnership with the homebuilder.

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Canadians Initiate NYC Real Estate Investment Expansion

Canadian real estate investment company Timbercreek Asset Management is expanding its global focus stateside, with the launch of the company's New York City location. Timbercreek manages approximately $2 billion in assets through its private and publicly-traded real estate-focused funds, and the company's New York launch follows the opening of Timbercreek offices in Switzerland. Leading Timbercreek's push into new markets are three former employees of Citigroup's real estate unit.

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CoreLogic: Home Prices Show Sixth Consecutive Decline

National home prices declined 1.0 percent between December 2011 and January 2012, according to the latest home price index from CoreLogic. It represents the sixth consecutive month the company has recorded a month-over-month drop in residential property values. The stretch of depreciation is much longer when comparing year-over-year numbers. Based on data through the end of January, annual declines in home prices have continued for 18 months straight by CoreLogic's assessment.

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Multi-State Mortgage Fraud Results in Hefty Sentence

In Minnesota, a former house flipper was sentenced to more than eight years in federal prison for his role in a real estate investment scheme, topping the weekly fraud blotter for TheMReport.com. The hefty sentence for Robert W. Dufrense, Jr., who is accused of bilking more than $5 million out of investors across multiple states, was more elaborate than expected due to an additional charge for obstructing justice. Dufresne was originally convicted of one count of mail fraud and one count of money laundering for a house-flipping scam.

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Initial Unemployment Claims Rise For Third Straight Week

According to data released today by the U.S. Department of Labor, first time claims for unemployment insurance rose 8,000 in the week ended March 2. The report marks the third straight weekly increase, following revisions to earlier statistics. Continuing claims, reported on a one-week lag, increased 10,000 to hit 3,416,000, representing the second straight weekly increase. The four week moving average for initial claims edged up modestly to 355,000 from 354750 while the average for continuing claims fell.

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