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Senate Confirms Cordray in 66-34 Vote

The U.S. Senate voted Tuesday to confirm Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). According to the Senate website, Cordray was confirmed in a 66-34 vote. President Obama installed Cordray as a recess appointment in 2012, a move that attracted criticism from opponents, who say the Senate was not actually in recess. Critics of the CFPB had vowed not to confirm any nomination for director until the agency saw substantial changes.

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Will ‘Taper Talk’ Take Over the Recovery?

Fed

Market participants reacting to speculation that the Federal Reserve may taper its bond purchases later this year should refrain from acting too hastily, Freddie Mac says in its U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for July. According to Freddie Mac's metrics, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has jumped a full percentage point since mid-May as "taper talk" rules the day. Rates are expected to gradually move higher, closing out 2013 in the range of 4.6 to 4.7 percent.

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Builder Confidence Surges Again in July

After surging in June, the National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) Housing Market Index (HMI)--a measure of builder confidence--shot up again in July, climbing six points to 57, its highest reading since January 2006, the group reported Tuesday. The two-month 13-point gain was the strongest two-month increase since January-February 1992, when the index improved 14 points. All three of the HMI components increased for the third month in a row.

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Home Price Growth Levels to Moderate Pace in May

FNC's Residential Price Index (RPI) continued to show gains in May, though the company noted the pace of growth has started to slow to a more sustainable level. According to FNC, the index climbed 0.5 percent in May, striking a balance between April's 0.7 percent growth and March's 0.3 percent improvement. From December through May, FNC reported an average monthly price growth of 0.4 percent, which annual appreciation rates (4.0 percent in May compared to May 2012) similarly leveling out.

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