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Report Predicts Slow Growth for Commercial Real Estate in 2013

The commercial real estate sector is improving, but investors need to be patient and not expect "quick wins," PwC and the Urban Land Institute said in a jointly-released report. According to their findings, "modest gains in leasing, rents, and pricing will extend across U.S. markets from coast to coast and improve prospects for all property sectors, including housing." Overall, recent job creation should bring down vacancy rates in the office, industrial, and retail sectors, and demand for apartments should remain.

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Florida Housing Market Continues Upswing in September

Florida

As national home sales and prices showed mixed results for September, Florida's market posted higher sales, higher pending sales, higher median prices, and a slightly down inventory for the month. Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 15,643 in September, up 2 percent year-over-year. Meanwhile, pending sales rose 40.1 percent in the same period to 21,368. The statewide median sales price for single-family homes was $145,000 in September, up 7.4 percent from a year ago.

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Wolters Kluwer Announces 16th Annual CRA & Fair Lending Colloquium

Compliance and risk management professionals will flock to Texas in November for Wolters Kluwer Financial Service's 16th annual CRA & Fair Lending Colloquium. The financial services company is hosting the event November 12-15 at The Westin La Cantera in San Antonio. The colloquium is an opportunity for senior compliance and risk management executives to discuss their most pressing concerns with top regulators and industry leaders.

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Bipartisan Think Tank Launches Financial Regulatory Reform Initiative

At an event in Washington Thursday, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) announced the launch of its new Financial Regulatory Reform Initiative to evaluate the financial regulatory system after the Dodd-Frank Act. The initiative is designed to assistant Congress, the executive branch, and regulators as they work to develop and modify financial supervision and regulation.

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MGIC to Offer Insurance Through Ellie Mae’s Encompass360

Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation (MGIC) announced it is now offering mortgage insurance through Ellie Mae's Encompass360 mortgage management software. Through the integration, Encompass360 users can order MGIC rate quotes and mortgage insurance without leaving the platform.

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Study: Less than Half of State Settlement Money Being Used for Housing

Five servicers--Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo--agreed to a $25 billion penalty as part of the national mortgage settlement. Of that total, $2.5 billion was paid directly to the participating states. To date, states have announced plans to spend $966 million of the settlement money on housing- and foreclosure-related activities, according to Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. Another $988 million has been funneled toward general funds or non-housing ventures.

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Home Prices, Sales Experience Monthly Slump in September

The housing sector hit a speed bump in September as existing home sales dipped, the National Association of Realtors revealed Friday. The association reported existing home sales fell 1.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.75 million, the first decline in three months. The median price of an existing home dipped 0.5 percent or $1,000 from August to $183,900, but is up 11.3 percent ($18,600) from September 2011, the strongest year-over-year dollar increase since January 2006.

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Report: Construction Improving Most in Southeast

Six of the top 10 markets with the most single-family construction activity over the last year are located in Texas and the Southeast, according to a report from John Burns Real Estate Consulting. Because housing demand and employment are usually tied together, single-family permit growth has also meant job growth for many metros. Oklahoma City, Orlando, and Phoenix have all seen substantial employment growth (above 2.5 percent year-over-year) to match the rise in permits.

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