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Report: Ability-to-Repay, QM Requirements are ‘Good Business’

Today's resilient capital market has the capacity to adapt readily to the pending ability-to-repay and qualified mortgage (QM) rules set to take effect January 10, 2014, according to a white paper CoreLogic released Friday. In its analysis, CoreLogic offers general support for the rules and suggests the industry will continue to prosper--albeit with more caution than in the years leading up to the housing crisis. "Making sure a borrower has the ability to repay is good business," the company said.

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Home Price Increases Spread in September, Sales Weaken

DataQuick, a specialist in property information and decisioning solutions, reported price growth "resumed at a rapid rate in September and spread to all" of its 42 reporting counties on a monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis. In other findings, sales dipped in most measures, with 26 counties reporting monthly increases, 28 reporting quarterly increases, and 29 posting yearly improvement (compared to 29, 37, and 28 in August, respectively).

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BofA, Mairone Found Liable in Mortgage Fraud Case

After hearing arguments for a month in a Manhattan federal court, a 10-person jury found Bank of American liable for one charge of fraud involving high-risk mortgages originated by Countrywide and then sold to the GSEs. Also found liable for fraud was Rebecca Mairone, who worked as COO for one of Countrywide's lending divisions and who was responsible for overseeing the company's "High Speed Swim Lane" program, often referred to as "the Hustle."

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Investors Look to Second-Tier Markets for CRE Opportunities

While the common mantra for real estate is location, location, location, an expert at private equity investment firm Siguler Guff & Company says commercial real estate investors should be focused on "timing, timing, timing." With real estate markets historically moving in cycles, the investment boutique says there are great opportunities between the valuation of a property at the bottom of the cycle and the value of that property when it comes to the top.

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Mortgage Rates Plunge to Post-Summer Lows

Freddie Mac released Thursday its Primary Mortgage Market Survey, which shows the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) falling to an average rate of 4.13 percent (0.8 point) for the week ending October 24, down from 4.28 percent and the lowest level in about four months. "Mortgage rates slid this week as the partial government shutdown led to market speculation that the Federal Reserve will not alter its bond purchases this year," explained Frank Nothaft, VP and chief economist for Freddie Mac.

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FHFA: August Marks 19 Months of Home Price Gains

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Marking 19 consecutive months of appreciation, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index rose 0.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted monthly basis in August. On a yearly basis, the index is up 8.5 percent. Of the nine census divisions, FHFA detected the greatest monthly price increase in the Mountain division, where prices increased 1.3 percent in August. The greatest monthly decrease took place in the South Atlantic division, where prices declined 0.5 percent.

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