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Case-Shiller Index Jumps a Record 2.2% in May

Home prices rose sharply in May cutting the year-over-year drop in prices to 0.7 percent from 1.8 percent in April, Standard & Poor's reported Tuesday in its Case-Shiller Home Price Index. Prices in the 20 cities surveyed rose 2.2 percent month-over-month, the strongest such gain since the 20-city index began in January 2000. The 10-city index also improved 2.2 percent in May, shaving the year-over-year decline in price to 1.0 percent in May from 2.2 percent in April. The month-over-month increase fell short of the 2.3 percent gain registered in June 2004.

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Clinton to Address DNC Before Five Star

Former President Bill Clinton will make a stop at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Charlotte, North Carolina, before continuing on to Dallas, Texas, to deliver the closing keynote at the mortgage industry's Five Star Conference and Expo. The DNC announced Monday that Clinton will formally nominate President Barack Obama as the Democratic party's presidential candidate during its convention on September 5, just two days before he speaks to thousands of mortgage default servicing professionals at the 2012 Five Star Conference.

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Atlanta’s Federal Home Loan Bank Reports Rising Income

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, a federal bank aimed at providing affordable residential mortgages, recorded increasing income and an increasing annualized return on equity in the second quarter of 2012, according to information the bank released to the public Monday. The bank released highlights from the second quarter in an unaudited release and will file a full report with the Securities and Exchange Commission.. The Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta reported a net income of $60 million for the quarter, up $22 million from the same quarter last year.

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Georgia Bank Failure Raises 2012 Tally to 39

State regulators shuttered a bank in Georgia this weekend, raising the bar to 39 for bank failures nationally this year. Jasper-based Jasper Banking Company fell dark with about $216.7 million in total assets and $213.1 million in total deposits. Stearns Bank National Association swooped in to sign a purchase-and-assumption agreement with the FDIC, as well as a loss-share transaction on $106 million of the assets. The acquirer assumed essentially all of the assets and deposits, along with three branches, which reopened under new management on Saturday.

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Price Appreciation Looms as Pending-Home Sales Rise in Miami

Following the recent month├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós change in the national Pending Home Sales Index from the National Association of Realtors, pending home sales declined month-over-month in June in Miami-Dade County, but went up year-over-year. While the national index moved down 1.4 percent from May to June, Miami's pending home sales declined 13 percent, according to the association and Miami├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós Multiple Listing Services system. Miami├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós change in pending sales year-over-year was also more exaggerated than the change reported in the national index.

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LTVtrade Appoints New Member for Board of Advisors

The chairman and CEO of ION Financial, Inc., John D. Koch, has a new title to boast about, having been named to the advisory board of LTVtrade. The company announced Koch's appointment in preparation for the upcoming launch of a new trading initiative for LTVtrade Marketplace.

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As Asking Prices Rise, Foreign Buyer Activity Falls

Higher asking prices drove off foreign homebuyers and investors over the last year, with real estate firm citing a 10 percent decline in foreign interest for the U.S. housing market. Releasing its International House Hunter Report Thursday, Trulia found that asking prices rose 0.3 percent year-over-year, nixing helpful influence from still-falling home prices. The housing bust attracted a number of foreign and cash buyers interested in low prices and the safe haven of U.S. real estate investment, according to Trulia.

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Overseas Investors Flocked to Real Estate in Q2

As global investor activity picked up in the second quarter, a number of U.S. cities saw more than half a billion dollars each in foreign real estate investment. Jones Lang LaSalle revealed in its most recent Global Capital Flows Report that global transactional volumes rose to $108 billion in Q2 2012, up 24 percent from a worrying dip in activity in Q1. The Americas posted the most activity, contributing $47 billion to the second quarter's overall total. Activity levels in Q2 still fell 1 percent from the same period in 2011.

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Homeownership Rate Edges Up in Q2 After Hitting 15-year Low

The nation's homeownership rate rose to 65.5 percent in the second quarter, according to the Census Bureau. The rate for the first quarter, however, was revised downward from the originally reported 65.5 percent to 65.4 percent, the lowest since Q1 1997 when the rate was also 65.4 percent. The Census Bureau also reported the number of housing units for sale fell to 1,595,000 in the second quarter, a drop of 364,000 from a year earlier. Over the same period, the number of housing units held off the market increased 265,000 to 7,612,000.

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2Q GDP Growth Slows to 1.5% With Drop in Spending

The U.S. economy grew at a disappointing 1.5 percent in the second quarter, the Labor Department reported Friday, down from an upwardly revised 2.0 percent growth rate in the first quarter but better than expected. Economists had forecast GDP to grow at 1.2 percent in the second quarter. A drop in government spending ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô primarily at the state and local level ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô held growth down. The growth pace is below the 3.0 percent level need to add jobs to make a dent in the nation's unemployment rate. Between 2008 and 2011, real GDP increased at an average annual rate of 0.3 percent, Labor said.

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