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Six-Month Delay for Dodd-Frank

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has issued a six-month delay for the finalization of rules and regulations in sync with the Dodd-Frank Act, temporarily checking a host of new requirements that analysts fear will distress the derivatives, financial, and mortgage banking markets. The Federal Reserve, FDIC, and the Office of the Comptroller of Currency fell behind schedule in the lead-up to Dodd-Frank's implementation phase, which goes into effect on July 16 despite that over half of the required 387 provisions need writing.

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RE/MAX Sees Positive Movement in Housing Trends

RE/MAX issued a report this week that yields a net gain in month-over-month statistics for home sales and prices in May, aligning with an expected seasonal drive by homebuyers, investors, and foreign buyers to real estate. Adding to a three-month trend on the upside, the company says home prices climbed 3.7 percent between April and May, while closed sales transactions rose 3.2 percent. RE/MAX says activity appears to be coming back in line with the seasonal trends expected this time of year.

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Zillow Expands Database of Homes

The real estate information marketplace Zillow has expanded its database of homes, leveraging user-submitted data to add more than 25 million new home valuations generated from the company's proprietary Zestimate algorithms, which are Zillow's own market value estimates based on various details available about individual properties. The company says it now has data, Zestimates, and Rent Zestimates on more than three-quarters of all homes in the United States.

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MBA: Mortgage Apps Jump as Low Rates Draw Consumers

Representing a nudge in the right direction for the origination market, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported a 13 percent swell in home loan applications submitted last week, up from the record low reported just one week earlier. It was the biggest gain recorded in three months. Michael Fratantoni, MBA's VP of research and economics, says low rates are driving consumers back to loans. Rates have dropped over eight of the last nine weeks - a primary driver for homeowners looking to refinance. MBA's Refinance Index jumped 16.5 percent.

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Franchise Program Allows Brokers to Stay in Business

The innovative franchise system launched by a mortgage company may enable mortgage brokers to go into business for themselves and earn additional compensation in an industry recently beset by tough new compensation rules. LenderCity, a Missouri-based company, recently announced its completion of a Uniform Franchise Disclosure Document (UFDD), which will allow licensed brokers running businesses to retain their financial independence and access back-end services without losing their identities.

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The Economic Link: Job Creation = Home Price Increases

The health of the labor market has a far-reaching impact on many areas of housing. When the economy is growing and the number of employed rises, so do home sales and mortgage originations. According to the research firm Hanley Wood Market Intelligence, there's also a definitive link between employment and home prices. The firm's analysts examined metro area job data juxtaposed with price trends for new homes, and their conclusions illustrate that jobs and housing "are joined at the hip."

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Barclays: New Compensation Rules Threaten Brokers

More hard times may be in store for brokers in the loan origination sector, which the Federal Reserve's new compensation rules already shrank by causing a wholesale market pullback in April, according to Barclays Capital. A weekly economic forecast by the firm offered a section entitled "Bye, bye broker" that predicts a flight by brokers to high-balance loans over the next several years. The analysts note that the barred yield-spread premiums (YSP) provided brokers with as much as 90 percent of their compensation in the past.

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MountainView Offers $188M Ginnie Mae Servicing Portfolio

MountainView Servicing Group, a subsidiary of MountainView Capital Holdings, announced Monday that it will serve as the exclusive advisor for a $188 million Ginnie Mae servicing portfolio. The portfolio is comprised entirely of fixed-rate mortgage loans, 98.1 percent of which are Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, with 99.9 percent retail origination and a weighted average interest rate of 5.95 percent.

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Historic Lending Lows Hamper Housing Activity

Mortgage lenders across the country have reported layoffs and substantial downsizing, a consequence of heightened regulatory scrutiny, weak job growth, and brittle markets slumbering in the wake of diminishing consumer confidence. Despite a small spurt in refinancing measures and a drop in lending rates to their lowest ebb since the turn of the century, origination loan volume remains low, and lenders are coming to terms with the fact that they will be financing fewer mortgages over a longer-than-expected period.

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MBA Nominates E.J. Burke as 2012 Vice-Chair

On Monday the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released a statement announcing the nomination of E.J. Burke, a senior executive and director at KeyBank Real Estate Capital and Corporate Banking Services, as its vice-chair. Burke has more than three decades of experience in the mortgage banking business, At KeyBank, he also served as head of real estate capital markets, presiding over its commercial mortgage division as managing director.

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