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Down Payment Biggest Barrier to Homeownership: Study

Feelings about homeownership remain positive in the face of a diminished market, but an uncertain economy and increasing down payments are keeping Americans from making purchases, a report from Integra Realty Resources said. Wednesday's report detailed results from an IRR-commissioned survey of non-homeowners ages 22-50 in 11 major markets. While 85 percent of potential buyers indicated that market conditions are favorable for purchasing a home, unemployment and job instability make many respondents reluctant or unable to buy a home.

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Four Banks Close Friday, Bringing 2012 Tally to 28

Four banks were shut down Friday bringing the tally of fallen banks so far this year to 28. The banks were located in Illinois, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and South Carolina. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation closed Shabbona, Illinois-based Farmers and Traders State Bank. The failed bank held $43.1 million in assets and $42.3 million in deposits as of the end of the first quarter of the year. First State Bank, based in Mendota, Illinois, entered a purchase and assumption agreement with the FDIC.

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Miami Home Sales Fall from Previous Year, Luxury Market Rises

While Miami home sales in April fell slightly, the multimillion-dollar luxury home market experienced a 36.5 percent increase from both the month before and previous year, according to San-Diego based DataQuick. In April, 101 homes sold for more than $2 million or more. During the first four months of 2012, 286 homes sold for the same amount or more, up 14.4 percent from the same period in 2011. Miami-area home sales rose modestly in April compared with March but fell slightly short of the year-ago level.

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Dodd-Frank Comes Under Fire at Congressional Hearing

The Dodd-Frank Act fell under scrutiny at a hearing of the Senate Banking Committee Wednesday, with lawmakers from the right charging that the reform law will impose arbitrary rules that limit consumer choice and prevent an economic recovery. Much of the light fell on interagency efforts to finalize the controversial Volcker Rule, a rulemaking requirement under Dodd-Frank that bans short-term proprietary trading by systemically important financial institutions like Chase. Witnesses included Consumer Financial Protection Bureau chief Richard Cordray.

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Don’t Believe All the Downturn Hype: Capital Economics

Negative reports on the economy may be shaking up confidence, but Capital Economics released a report Friday stating that in their view, the foundations for a sustainable recovery are still in place. The employment situation in the U.S. and issues overseas such as the euro-zone crises are all taking a toll on the economy and consumer confidence. Yet, there are still reasons to make the argument that the recovery is not going to be derailed. Home sales and prices have increased, and mortgage affordability stays high.

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WMI Holdings Appoints Interim Chief Accounting Officer

WMI Holdings Corp., formerly Washington Mutual, Inc., has named a new interim chief accounting officer. As part of the entity's ongoing strategy following the completion of Chapter 11 proceedings, WMI has appointed Timothy Jaeger to the leadership role.

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Mortgage Rates Race to New Lows as Job Growth Wavers

As the employment situation continues to raise concerns, fixed rates fell even lower, slipping yet again to new record lows, according to a survey from Freddie Mac released Thursday. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.67 percent (0.7 point) for the week ending June 7, falling from last week's average of 3.75 percent. The 15-year fixed rate declined even further below 3 percent to 2.94 percent (0.7 point), down from last week's 2.97 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.68 percent.

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Fannie Mae: Unsure Consumers Could Slow the Recovery

Lulls in employment and income growth led to a plateau in consumer sentiment in May, according to Fannie Mae├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós May 2012 National Housing Survey. The data released by Fannie Mae on Thursday showed that although many consumers (72 percent) believe that now is a good time to purchase a house, the percentage of respondents who said they would buy a house after moving actually dropped for the second consecutive month ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô 63 percent in May compared to 64 percent in April and 66 percent in March. Fifteen percent of respondents said now is a good time to sell a home.

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Fed: Residential Real Estate Continues to See Growth

The economy expanded at a modest to moderate pace from early April to the end of May the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday in its periodic Beige Book. The assessment reflected a weakening from the report in April when the expansion was characterized as moderate. Activity in the New York, Cleveland, Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, Dallas, and San Francisco Districts was described as moderate, while the Richmond, St. Louis, and Minneapolis Districts noted modest growth. Boston reported steady growth, and the Philadelphia District indicated that the pace of expansion had slowed slightly.

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BluFi Lending Launches New Mobile Platform

Giving homebuyers a new way to access property information, BluFi Lending has unveiled its Mobile Connect service. The direct lender's smartphone initiative will serve as a marketing and communications platform for those seeking details on the go while surveying a potential property.

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