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Consumer Spending Index Inches Up in May

Improvements in housing and labor lifted Deloitte's Consumer Spending Index for May, the company reported. The index, which comprises four components--tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages, and real home prices--rose to a reading of 4.27 from April's 4.12. The index tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future spending. Three out of the four components contributed to May's uptick, according to Daniel Bachman, senior U.S. economist for Deloitte.

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Prices, Sales Remain Hot as Summer Starts

Prices shot up in May even as for-sale inventory showed signs of recovery, according to Redfin's Real-Time Price Tracker. According to the brokerage's findings, home prices came in 4.3 percent higher month-over-month and 17.4 percent higher year-over-year in May (to a median $208 per square foot). Eighteen of the 19 markets measured by Redfin saw monthly improvement in prices (Austin being the exception), and all 19 reported yearly increases. Once again, the West proved strongest.

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NTC Notes Benefits of eRecording

eRecording--is taking hold as a way to streamline the records process and free up resources at lending and servicing offices, according to Nationwide Title Clearing, Inc. (NTC).

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Longtime GSF Mortgage Employee Named Account Executive

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GSF Mortgage, a premier online mortgage lender headquartered in Wisconsin, announced the promotion of Hannah Goreta. Having worked with GSF for four years, Goreta now serves as an account executive for the company's U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Housing division.

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Inventory Levels Continue to Grow in May

According to Redfin, listings increased 4.2 percent in May, adding to April's 6.4 percent growth. While total inventory was still down 22 percent year-over-year in May, that was still an improvement compared to January's 32 percent annual drop. Some markets are already ahead of the curve: Phoenix turned in a 14.1 percent year-over-year increase in May, while Chicago came in 0.4 percent ahead of last year. On the other hand, markets like Los Angeles and Boston still have a ways to go.

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Confidence in Banks Rises to Post-Recession High

According to the results of Gallup's latest yearly poll, 26 percent of Americans surveyed said they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in banks, up from last year's low of 21 percent. While the share of confident Americans increase, the share of those expressing little or no confidence was down to 28 percent from last year's 35 percent, closing the gap further. The percentage of confident Americans is now at its highest point since June 2008 but remains well below its pre-recession level of 41 percent in 2007.

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Builder Confidence Surges to 7-Year High in June

Builder confidence surged eight points in June to 52, its highest reading since March 2006, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported Monday. It was the first positive (above 50) reading for the association├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós Housing Market Index (HMI) since April 2006. Two of the three components of the index--builder assessment of current sales and of sales six months in the future--were also positive. The current sales index rose eight points to 56, and the future sales index jumped nine points to 61.

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