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FHFA Rate Index Edges Up in June

The Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) index of new mortgage contracts shows interest rates climbing 0.15 percent from May to June. According to FHFA's Monthly Interest Rate Survey, the National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes by Combined Lenders was 3.55 percent for loans closed in late June. As loans are typically locked in 30-45 days before a loan is closed, June's data reflect market rates from mid- to late May.

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Case-Shiller Indices Near Five-Year High

Home prices rose to their highest levels in almost five years in May, increasing by a non-seasonally adjusted 2.5 percent, according to the Case-Shiller Home Price Indices released Tuesday. The 20-city index was up 12.2 percent from a year earlier, and the companion 10-city index was up 11.8 percent. For the month, the 10-city index rose 2.5 percent and the 20-city index was up 2.4 percent. The two surveys have improved month-over-month and year-over-year for 12 consecutive months.

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More Americans Say Buying a Home is a Good Financial Decision

Americans hold a more positive view of the housing market, while an increasing share of renters plan to own, according to the 2013 National Housing Pulse Survey from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Of those surveyed, 80 percent said they believe buying a home is a good financial decision, up by 8 points from 2011. Meanwhile, the percentage of those who say they prefer to rent over buying dropped 6 points since 2011 to 25 percent.

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Home Prices Get Another Bump in May

Based on transactions recorded in May, Lender Processing Services' Home Price Index rose to a reading of $226,000, an increase of 7.9 percent over May 2012. The index has climbed 5.6 percent since December of last year. For yet another month, the West dominated the list of metros reporting price month-over-month increases. The top spot was Las Vegas, posting a 3.2 percent gain. Following that were San Francisco, Reno, and Sacramento--each with a 2.5 percent increase--followed by several smaller California markets.

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