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NAR Predicts 2013 Decline in Commercial Vacancies

Amid an improving commercial real estate market, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) predicts declining vacancy rates in all sectors of commercial real estate in the coming year. The greatest vacancy decline is expected among office properties. Office vacancies should fall about one percentage point over the year, dropping from 16.7 percent to 15.7 percent. While the smallest vacancy decline is expected in the multifamily sector, NAR states there is "a full recovery already in the multifamily market."

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More Banks Interested in Expanding, Few Want to Sell

It seems more banks are eyeing the possibility of expansion in 2013, according to a survey sponsored by Crowe Horwath LLP. According to the results, 57 percent of banks intend to make some form of acquisition in the next year, up from last year's survey. Furthermore, many bankers expressed interest in acquisitions outside of their core banking franchises. Out of the banks that are looking at expanding, 28.8 percent said they intend to acquire a residential mortgage origination business in 2013.

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Supreme Lending Names New SVP, National Sales Manager

New

Supreme Lending, a Dallas-based nationwide mortgage banker with branches throughout the country, announced Brian Mitchell is joining the team as its new SVP and national sales manager. Mitchell is a 20-year veteran mortgage banker, having worked most recently as regional VP for Envoy Mortgage.

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Prospect Mortgage Taps Former Fannie Mae Chief for Board Chair

Prospect Mortgage, LLC, announced the appointment of Michael J. Williams, former president and CEO of Fannie Mae, as chairman of its board of directors. Prospect Mortgage is a top-10 originator of home purchase loans, offering conventional, jumbo, super-jumbo, Federal Housing Administration, and Veterans Affairs mortgages as well as home renovation loans.

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Sandy Rains on October Income, Spending

Consumer spending fell $20.2 billion in October as personal income remained relatively flat, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported Friday. The report was weaker than the 0.3 percent growth in income and 0.1 percent growth in spending economists had expected. While the report reflects a weak beginning to the fourth quarter, the disappointing growth largely comes from work interruptions brought by superstorm Sandy, which impacted 24 states, by BEA's estimation.

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Clear Title Services Celebrates 5 Years of Growth

After forming during the housing downturn in 2007, Clear Title Agency decided to focus on generating revenue from REOs and foreclosures by handling title and escrow duties for banks. Through this strategy, Arizona-based Clear Title stated it has experienced 200 percent annual growth after five years in business.

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