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Origination

Mortgage Rates Race to New Lows as Job Growth Wavers

As the employment situation continues to raise concerns, fixed rates fell even lower, slipping yet again to new record lows, according to a survey from Freddie Mac released Thursday. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.67 percent (0.7 point) for the week ending June 7, falling from last week's average of 3.75 percent. The 15-year fixed rate declined even further below 3 percent to 2.94 percent (0.7 point), down from last week's 2.97 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.68 percent.

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Fannie Mae: Unsure Consumers Could Slow the Recovery

Lulls in employment and income growth led to a plateau in consumer sentiment in May, according to Fannie Mae├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós May 2012 National Housing Survey. The data released by Fannie Mae on Thursday showed that although many consumers (72 percent) believe that now is a good time to purchase a house, the percentage of respondents who said they would buy a house after moving actually dropped for the second consecutive month ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô 63 percent in May compared to 64 percent in April and 66 percent in March. Fifteen percent of respondents said now is a good time to sell a home.

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Fed: Residential Real Estate Continues to See Growth

The economy expanded at a modest to moderate pace from early April to the end of May the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday in its periodic Beige Book. The assessment reflected a weakening from the report in April when the expansion was characterized as moderate. Activity in the New York, Cleveland, Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, Dallas, and San Francisco Districts was described as moderate, while the Richmond, St. Louis, and Minneapolis Districts noted modest growth. Boston reported steady growth, and the Philadelphia District indicated that the pace of expansion had slowed slightly.

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BluFi Lending Launches New Mobile Platform

Giving homebuyers a new way to access property information, BluFi Lending has unveiled its Mobile Connect service. The direct lender's smartphone initiative will serve as a marketing and communications platform for those seeking details on the go while surveying a potential property.

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Initial Jobless Claims In First Drop in Five Weeks

First time claims for unemployment insurance fell to 377,000 for the week ended June 2, from the prior week├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós upwardly revised 389,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists had expected the report would be show 379,000 initial claims. The drop in claims was the first in five weeks.

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Systemic Risk Council to Convene for Regulation Monitoring

The Systemic Risk Council, a volunteer group led by former FDIC chair Sheila Bair, will meet in June to monitor and encourage regulatory reform of U.S. capital markets focused on systemic risk. The council, formed by CFA Institute and The Pew Charitable Trusts, is an assembly of experts in investments, capital markets, and securities regulation.

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Slight Uptick in Applications Driven Solely by Refinances

Mortgage applications increased 1.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis in May, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's latest mortgage application survey released Wednesday. The survey measured application data for the week ending June 1 and included an adjustment for the Memorial Day holiday. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, application rates were not as strong, falling more than 9 percent from the previous week. Refinances continue to make up a large portion of mortgages, taking up 78 percent of activity for the week, up 1 percent from the previous week.

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Settlement Monitor Talks Selection Process for Primary Firm

The Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight continues to evolve as the monitor, a widely respected banking and housing finance chief, takes on new help from accounting and legal firms. Joseph A. Smith, Jr., onetime Federal Housing Finance Agency director-nominee, now responsible for overseeing servicer compliance under the $25 billion settlement, revealed Monday that BDO USA, LLP, would serve as the Raleigh, North Carolina-based office's eyes and ears. He spoke with MReport about the firm Wednesday.

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