NATNews Blog
Welcome to NATNews, North American Title Company’s news and information portal for professionals in the real estate, mortgage and title insurance industries. As your trusted partner in the business of buying and selling real estate, we know that the success of your business is inextricably linked to market forces, the buying habits of the different generations, regulatory changes, social trends and more. With the launch of NATNews, we will be providing our partners with daily updates concerning market trends, business news and regulatory information to keep you informed of the most critical issues that could impact your business.
 
  • Trade groups laud House NFIP reauthorization bill, as expiration date looms

    7/24/2017 11:19:13 AM

    The National Association of Home Builders and the National Association of Realtors both issued statements lauding the House Financial Services Committee for its efforts to craft a viable, long-term flood insurance reauthorization bill that they say will keep the National Flood Insurance Program fiscally sound.

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  • Builder confidence slips two points in July, remains solid

    7/21/2017 10:22:47 AM

    Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes slipped two points in July to a level of 64 from a downwardly revised June reading on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). It is the lowest reading since November 2016.

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  • ​If housing is so affordable, why doesn’t it feel that way?

    7/20/2017 9:42:23 AM

    Freddie Mac released its Insight for July, which examines some of the factors and perceptions that can make purchasing a home seem out of reach that aren't always reflected in housing affordability indices.

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  • ​Guiding homebuyers through the new credit reporting ‘fixes’

    7/19/2017 4:45:54 PM

    Credit reporting standards are changing for the good this year, as a result of a 2015 settlement with 31 state attorneys general and increased supervision by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). But, as a real estate agent or lender, you may need to put the brakes on your homebuyers’ euphoria.

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  • Building stronger client relationships: 5 ways to get social

    7/19/2017 8:43:01 AM

    Strong client relationships mean more referrals and loyalty when it's time for a couple to upgrade from their starter home to a bigger one. When it comes to the basics, using social media platforms isn't much different than social strategy and interaction in real life.

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  • Natural born leaders: The women in charge at BHHS Fox & Roach

    7/19/2017 8:30:02 AM

    While statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that 62 percent of Realtors are women, the broker and executive level of the real estate business is still predominantly occupied by men. Fortunately, the tides are turning and more women are taking their place among the industry's upper echelon.

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  • ​Expansion expected to decelerate in second half

    7/17/2017 8:56:44 AM

    Expectations for 2017 economic growth remain at 2.0 percent amid a projected second half slowdown, according to the Fannie Mae Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) Group’s July 2017 Economic and Housing Outlook.

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  • ​ALTA says CFPB missed opportunity to ease consumer confusion

    7/17/2017 8:47:18 AM

    The American Land Title Association said the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s failure to address title insurance pricing in its recent Final Amendments to Federal Mortgage Disclosure Requirements was a “missed opportunity” to clear up confusion for consumers.

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  • Get smart about prospecting for big profit

    7/14/2017 8:15:46 AM

    Want to boost your bottom line and see the results in just 90 days? If you're unhappy with the number of pending transactions or the lack of listings in your pipeline, you might need better prospecting habits.

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  • CoreLogic: Mortgage performance continues steady improvement in April

    7/13/2017 6:56:49 AM

    CoreLogic released its monthly Loan Performance Insights Report, which shows that, nationally, 4.8 percent of mortgages were in some stage of delinquency (30 days or more past due including those in foreclosure) in April 2017. This represents a 0.5 percentage point decline in the overall delinquency rate compared with April 2016 when it was 5.3 percent.

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  • The secret formula for creating a brand

    7/13/2017 6:48:17 AM

    Did the Coca-Cola brand become iconic because it tastes better than any other soft drink? Or could it be the marketing instead? And if it wasn't the specific messaging that was important, was it rather the consistency of the messaging? Here are some tips to consistently remind your database that you're ready, willing and able to help them, or anyone they know, buy or sell a home.

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  • ​Consumers’ confidence in home-selling environment strengthens

    7/12/2017 8:06:21 AM

    The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) increased 2.1 percentage points in June to 88.3, matching the all-time high from February of this year. The rise can be attributed to increases in four of the six HPSI components.

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  • CFPB finalizes TRID amendment allowing CD to be shared

    7/11/2017 7:00:47 AM

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced July 7 that it finalized updates to its “Know Before You Owe” mortgage disclosure rule, including clarifying that it is “usual, accepted, and appropriate for creditors and settlement agents to provide a Closing Disclosure to consumers, sellers, and their real estate brokers or other agents.”

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  • How agents can achieve better visibility with first-time homebuyers

    7/10/2017 8:15:02 AM

    Most millennials are first-time homebuyers, which means any agent aiming to attract new clients has to get in front of this demographic. There are a number of ways agents can achieve better visibility with first-time homebuyers.

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  • Employment increases exceed estimates, 222,000 jobs added in June

    7/7/2017 10:24:19 AM

    Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 222,000 in June, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.4 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in health care, social assistance, financial activities, and mining.

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  • Positive vs. negative leadership: 5 scenarios

    7/6/2017 7:48:42 AM

    The average modern-day workplace is far from positive. Everybody is already tense and on edge due to work demands, stress, office politics, and the economy. Add in a pessimistic, angry leader, and you've got a bigger problem. In fact, a recent Gallup poll estimates that negativity costs the economy $250-300 billion a year and affects the morale, performance, and productivity of teams.

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  • Will the Hispanic homeownership gap persist?

    7/6/2017 7:27:43 AM

    Freddie Mac released its Insight for June, which looks at the gap in the Hispanic homeownership rate and explores if it will persist over time.

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  • Survey: Homeowners believe it’s a good time to sell

    7/5/2017 8:35:53 AM

    Existing housing inventory has declined year over year each month for two straight years, but new consumer findings from the National Association of Realtors offer hope that the growing number of homeowners who think now is a good time to sell will eventually lead to more listings.

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  • Bank economists: Moderate growth to continue through 2018

    7/5/2017 8:25:46 AM

    Consumer spending has supported a prolonged expansion that is expected to continue, according to the consensus view of 15 chief economists from among the largest North American banks. 

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  • ​New home sales rise 2.9%, pending home sales slump

    6/30/2017 6:47:39 AM

    HUD reported sales of newly built, single-family homes in May rose 2.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 610,000 units, but NAR said ongoing supply shortages caused pending home sales in May to slump for the third consecutive month. None of the major regions saw an increase in contract activity last month.

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  • Multifamily market fundamentals continue to moderate

    6/30/2017 6:10:22 AM

    Freddie Mac released its quarterly update to the Multifamily Apartment Investment Market Index, showing a decrease over the first quarter of 2017 and over the past 12 months.

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  • More lenders plan to ease credit standards

    6/29/2017 12:15:05 PM

    More mortgage lenders say they have eased credit standards recently and expect further easing in the coming months, according to Fannie Mae’s second quarter 2017 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey.

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  • Take your profits through the roof

    6/28/2017 5:34:18 PM

    There are many ways to maximize your profits. In addition to increasing the number of transactions you close and/or increasing the average sales price of the homes you sell, there are other time-proven tactics that involve working smarter, not harder.

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  • ​Defect, fraud and misrepresentation risk heats up

    6/27/2017 2:11:01 PM

    The First American Loan Application Defect Index showed that the frequency of defects, fraudulence and misrepresentation in the information submitted in mortgage loan applications increased 2.5 percent in May 2017 as compared with the previous month.

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  • House committee completes markup of bills to reform NFIP

    6/27/2017 12:43:40 PM

    The House Financial Services Committee met July 21 to complete deliberation of and pass five measures to reform and reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is set to expire on Sept. 30.

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  • ​ABA Survey: Mortgage borrowers want both tech and in-person services

    6/22/2017 10:50:49 AM

    Sixty percent of Americans agree that while they use online resources for research, they prefer to apply for a mortgage in person, according to a new survey from the American Bankers Association. The survey also found down payment challenges and student debt continue to delay home purchases.

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  • Pinterest-perfect home: The long game and long gain of Pinterest

    6/21/2017 5:23:25 AM

    Pinterest is the perfect place to plan your dream home…and the right platform for home builders, real estate agents and professionals in the home industry to reach an audience who is actively searching and planning for their life — from everyday tips and tricks for sprucing up a room to the big life moments like buying or building their dream home.

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  • Fannie Mae: Fiscal, monetary policy could impact rebound

    6/20/2017 4:46:23 AM

    The current economic expansion, now entering its ninth year, is forecast to continue, with full-year growth at 2.0 percent for 2017, according to the Fannie Mae Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) Group’s June 2017 Economic and Housing Outlook.

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  • 5-step exercise to avoid costly time traps

    6/19/2017 4:54:24 AM

    Though everyone gets 24 hours in a day, it's how you choose to spend those 24 hours that's the great differentiator between whether you'll sell five, 50 or 500 homes this year. Use this five-step process, adapted from real estate coach Tom Ferry, to see whether you're harnessing the best use of your time.

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  • Multifamily decline brings overall housing starts down 5.5 percent in May

    6/19/2017 4:35:09 AM

    Led by a decline in multifamily production, nationwide housing starts fell 5.5 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.09 million units, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department.

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  • ​Builders take legislative priorities to Capitol Hill

    6/15/2017 5:26:24 AM

    More than 800 builders from across the nation marched on Capitol Hill June 14 for the annual National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Legislative Conference to call on Congress to make housing and homeownership a national priority and to support policies that will keep the housing recovery moving forward.

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  • Closing tips: LE and CD comparison insights for the homebuyer

    6/14/2017 9:52:46 AM

    In the past, HUD's "suggestion" that the buyer be given 24 hours to review the documents prior to signing was considered an improbability – if not an impossibility – for most closings. Today, homebuyers are given three business days to review and compare the original Loan Estimate and the final Closing Disclosure before proceeding to the closing. Here are tips to share with your homebuyers about why they should review the documents, how to compare the numbers and what to do if they find a discrepancy.

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  • CoreLogic: Mortgage delinquencies drop to 10-year low in March

    6/13/2017 11:29:39 AM

    CoreLogic released its monthly Loan Performance Insights Report, which shows that, nationally, 4.4 percent of mortgages were in some stage of delinquency (30 days or more past due including those in foreclosure) in March 2017. This represents a 0.8 percentage point decline in the overall delinquency rate compared with March 2016.

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  • 5 root causes for U.S.’s depressed homeownership rate

    6/13/2017 10:43:36 AM

    Despite steadily improving local job markets and historically low mortgage rates, the U.S. homeownership rate is stuck near a 50-year low because of a perverse mix of affordability challenges, student loan debt, tight credit conditions and housing supply shortages.

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  • Why is it so hard to pick up the phone?

    6/9/2017 9:02:20 AM

     I have seen many agents transform their perspective on prospecting by realizing they weren't calling to "take" anything; they were calling to "offer" their valuable expertise.

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  • A seller’s market? Consumers express diverging sentiments

    6/8/2017 1:26:21 PM

    According to the Fannie MAE HPSI, the net share of Americans who reported that now is a good time to buy a home reached a record low after falling 8 percentage points, while the net share who reported that now is a good time to sell a home reached a record high, increasing 6 percentage points.

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  • Financial institution regulatory agencies issue advisory on appraiser availability

    6/7/2017 7:30:14 AM

    Responding to concerns over the limited availability of state-certified and licensed appraisers, particularly in rural areas, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency today issued an advisory that highlights two options to help insured depository institutions and bank holding companies facilitate the timely consideration of loan applications.

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  • How to Become a Problem Solver

    6/6/2017 5:43:13 AM

    ​Every day challenges arise. They may be minor, such as being behind in your monthly marketing efforts. Other times, it's something bigger, such as a transaction that threatens to fall through or an angry client. Agents who are problem solvers aren't daunted by these challenges; instead, they handle them with confidence, knowing they're doing the right thing for their clients. So how can you turn into a problem solver?

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  • Report: Tax reform could deliver a tax hike for homeowners

    6/5/2017 9:31:07 AM

    While tax reform proposals swirling around Washington, D.C., promise lower tax bills for American families, recently released estimates indicate that many middle-income homeowners may actually see a tax increase if those proposals go through.

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  • ​Unemployment at 4.3 percent, as economy adds 138,000 jobs

    6/2/2017 1:32:54 PM

    Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 138,000 in May, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in health care and mining.

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  • ​The Fed reports modest to moderate growth across districts

    6/1/2017 9:21:41 AM

    Most of the 12 Federal Reserve Districts reported that their economies continued to expand at a modest or moderate pace from early April through late May, in the May 31 release of the Beige Report. Construction of new homes and nonresidential structures also continued to grow at modest to moderate rates, as did sales of existing homes. Most districts reported that nonresidential leasing picked up a bit.

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  • ​Foreign buyers, immigrants expected to drive future demand for U.S. housing

    5/30/2017 8:58:14 AM

    U.S. real estate markets are increasingly becoming international, and changing demographics brought forth by immigration and growing interest from foreigners are positioned to bolster home sales activity and prices. 

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  • NAR reports an upbeat outlook for commercial markets in 2017

    5/30/2017 8:37:52 AM

    NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun led a panel discussion about the economic forces shaping commercial real estate markets; the panelists agreed that the market has improved and that continued growth in the economy will further drive activity, but difficulties remain regarding availability of financing for smaller commercial properties.

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  • CFPB seeks feedback on ATR/QM Rule

    5/26/2017 11:09:05 AM

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is conducting an assessment of the Ability to Repay/Qualified Mortgage Rule and is seeking public comment on its plans for the assessment as well as certain recommendations and information that may be useful in conducting the planned assessment.

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  • FDIC-insured institutions earn $44B in Q1, ABA addresses potential rate hikes

    5/25/2017 9:30:32 AM

    Commercial banks and savings institutions insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation reported aggregate net income of $44 billion in the first quarter of 2017, up $5 billion (12.7 percent) from a year earlier.

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  • From differentiation to distinction

    5/24/2017 10:57:46 AM

    Smart agents understand the urgency to make simple, high-impact changes that create true uniqueness. Here are a few ideas to create a top-value experience that makes you stand out from the crowd:

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  • ​Freddie Mac: Housing gets off to a good start

    5/24/2017 10:39:27 AM

    Freddie Mac released its monthly Outlook for May, which highlighted the fact that the U.S. housing market is on track to eclipse last year despite weak economic growth.

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  • Luck doesn't sell listings, copy points do

    5/23/2017 10:15:32 AM

    Every buyer starts their real estate search with a list of features which can return hundreds or thousands of matching homes online. Make your listing a must-see by describing the benefits of your listing instead of simply listing the features.

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  • ​How will interest rate increases affect your home sale?

    5/23/2017 10:08:57 AM

    As the Fed began nudging up interest rates in March, I wondered what it might mean for the housing market. So we turned to K.C. Sanjay, Senior Real Estate Economist at Axiometrics.com, who recently blogged about the subject.

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  • 10 safety tips to apply before your next open house

    5/19/2017 4:46:51 PM

    Have you ever left your open house feeling like something wasn't right? Trouble is the last thing you want at an open house or showing, so we've compiled the following tips to prevent it from ever appearing.

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  • ​APIs are reshaping business strategy

    5/18/2017 10:07:47 AM

    Businesses are increasingly leveraging digital technologies to reduce errors and costs, speed up transactions, and drive better customer service.Fannie Mae surveyed senior mortgage executives to gather information about data strategy and technological innovation, and, specifically, to understand their experience with two digital technologies: APIs and Chatbots.

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  • Regulations, retention and recruitment pressing issues for appraisal industry

    5/18/2017 9:48:33 AM

    More needs to be done to keep appraisers in the profession and attract new talent. That’s according to panelists yesterday at a property valuation forum at the 2017 Realtors Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo.

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  • Freddie Mac AIMI shows seasonal slowdown, continued strength of multifamily market

    5/17/2017 9:37:27 AM

    For the fourth quarter of 2016, AIMI captured the market’s typical seasonal slowdown, with quarterly declines nationally and in all 14 major metropolitan markets it tracks.

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  • Carson, Wright tackle FHA, NFIP programs at NAR conference

    5/17/2017 9:26:18 AM

    ​HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson and FEMA's Roy Wright addressed homeownership programs and the future of NFIP, two issues high on the NAR agenda, during the Regulatory Issues Forum at the 2017 Realtors Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, DC.

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  • Fannie Mae: Q2 rebound likely to follow Q1 slowdown

    5/16/2017 10:01:32 AM

    For the fourth consecutive year, first quarter growth slowed from the fourth quarter, partly reflecting ongoing seasonality issues. However, incoming data suggest that consumer spending growth will pick up this quarter.

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  • ​April new home purchase mortgage applications drop 4.3 percent YOY

    5/15/2017 8:44:38 AM

    The Mortgage Bankers Association Builder Applications Survey data for April 2017 shows mortgage applications for new home purchases decreased 4.3 percent compared to April 2016. Compared to March 2017, applications decreased by 20 percent relative to the previous month. This change does not include any adjustment for typical seasonal patterns.

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  • ​Housing affordability registers slight uptick in Q1

    5/12/2017 2:15:59 PM

    Rising wages and moderating home prices offset a rise in mortgage interest rates to give housing affordability a slight boost in the first quarter of 2017, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index.

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  • ​Mortgage applications increase in latest MBA weekly survey

    5/11/2017 10:54:24 AM

    Mortgage applications increased 2.4 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending May 5.

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  • Expanding your business through innovation

    5/10/2017 8:33:54 AM

    This is the mindset needed to take your business to places it's never been. Where are the empty spaces — the opportunities — in which your business can become a pioneer?

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  • ​Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac submit Duty to Serve Underserved Markets Plans

    5/9/2017 9:22:29 AM

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac this week submitted their Duty to Serve Underserved Markets Plans to the Federal Housing Finance Agency for public comment.

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  • ​How to network smarter

    5/8/2017 10:10:36 AM

    Business is built on relationships. For many entrepreneurs whose small businesses are thriving, successful networking is one of the most common threads.The following tips can help small business owners make the most of networking events.

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  • Consumer confidence on the rise

    5/8/2017 10:03:49 AM

    The Fannie Mae HPSI increased 2.2 percentage points in April to 86.7. The net share of Americans who reported that now is a good time to buy a home increased 5 percentage points, and consumers also expressed greater confidence about the stability of their jobs.

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  • Risky business: Managing your social media persona

    5/5/2017 9:09:18 AM

    As a real estate agent, using social media as part of an overall marketing strategy is a must in an age where statistics show that 90 percent of homebuyers are online during some part of their home-buying process. However, there are legal and professional risks in this new environment that must be recognized.

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  • New jobs numbers exceed expectation

    5/5/2017 9:02:19 AM

    Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 211,000 in April, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.4 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. 

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  • Ellie Mae: ‘Midwest is Best’ for millennial homebuyers

    5/4/2017 11:51:34 AM

    Millennial homebuyers continued to favor Midwestern states where prices remain comparatively more affordable, the latest Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker found. 

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  • ​Strong sellers' market sends defect, fraud risk higher

    5/3/2017 8:00:28 AM

    First American’s Loan Application Defect Index showed a 3.9 percent increase in defects, fraud and misrepresentation in the information submitted in mortgage loan applications in March as compared with the previous month.

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  • ​Pending home sales dip 0.8 percent in March

    5/2/2017 10:17:12 AM

    Pending home sales in March maintained their recent high level, but momentum slackened slightly in most of the country as dearth supply weighed on activity, according to the National Association of Realtors. Only the South saw an uptick in contract signings last month. 

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  • The Evolution of Teams

    5/1/2017 6:07:28 AM

    Real estate teams are constantly evolving, but like it or not, they're here to stay. I've been a team leader for over 27 years, and I can tell you that teams are getting bigger, and they're dominating real estate markets across the country.

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  • How your business can prep for an online PR crisis

    4/28/2017 7:48:48 AM

    As a business owner, you’re likely in constant preparation mode. Having an online crisis plan in place is a necessity, according to MarxLayne.com. When dealing with a disrupting event that spreads online, organizations should consider the following fundamental guidelines.

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  • ​CoreLogic: 5.3 % of homeowners late on mortgage payments in January

    4/28/2017 7:31:42 AM

    CoreLogic released a new monthly Loan Performance Insights Report, which shows that 5.3 percent of mortgages were delinquent by at least 30 days or more (including those in foreclosure) in January 2017. This represents a 1.1 percentage point decline in the overall delinquency rate compared with January 2016 when it was 6.4 percent.

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  • Title insurance on new construction? Yes, and here’s why!

    4/27/2017 7:08:34 AM

    Your buyers are purchasing a newly constructed single-family home or a condo in a newly-built development. Why, they may ask, do they need to pay for title insurance on property that no one has ever owned?

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  • From busy to productive: Lessons from a lead-generating pro

    4/26/2017 8:30:33 AM

    One of the biggest struggles real estate agents face is managing their businesses. While many agents create daily to-do lists, they often get so wrapped up in the emergencies that arise that they never get around to what's most important. Learn how a coach can help you get refocused.

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  • Single-family production falls

    4/25/2017 7:47:38 AM

    Following an elevated February reading, nationwide housing starts fell 6.8 percent in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.22 million units, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department. Still, new housing production in the first quarter of this year is running 8.1 percent above the pace in 2016.

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  • ​MBA offers detailed GSE reform proposal

    4/24/2017 8:40:06 AM

    The Mortgage Bankers Association released a white paper GSE Reform: Creating a Sustainable, More Vibrant, Secondary Mortgage Market that provides a detailed picture of a reformed and revitalized secondary mortgage market.

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  • ​Existing-home sales jumped 4.4% in March

    4/24/2017 8:34:32 AM

    Existing-home sales took off in March to their highest pace in over 10 years, and severe supply shortages resulted in the typical home coming off the market significantly faster than in February and a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors. Only the West saw a decline in sales activity in March.

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  • How to spring clean your digital life

    4/21/2017 7:04:28 AM

    Spring cleaning may call you to empty those closets, wash the windows and lug mountains of items to the local thrift store. But have you ever considered paying the same attention to your digital spaces?

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  • ​Builder confidence holds firm in April

    4/20/2017 10:36:16 AM

    Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes remained solid in April, falling three points to a level of 68 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index  after an unusually high March reading.

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  • ​Profits up in 2016 for independent mortgage bankers

    4/19/2017 9:51:24 AM

    Independent mortgage banks and mortgage subsidiaries of chartered banks made an average profit of $1,346 on each loan they originated in 2016, up from $1,189 per loan in 2015, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported in its Annual Mortgage Bankers Performance Report.

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  • Freddie Mac: Renters put moving plans on hold, despite financial optimism

    4/18/2017 3:15:49 PM

    More renters are optimistic about their financial situations but expect to stay where they are even if their rents increased, according to new research released today by Freddie Mac.

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  • ​Vacation home sales plummet, investment sales climb in 2016

    4/17/2017 4:40:56 PM

    Last year’s strongest pace of home sales in a decade included a sizeable drop in activity from vacation buyers and a jump from individual investors, according to an annual second-home survey released by the National Association of Realtors

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  • Multifamily property price growth expected to track inflation

    4/14/2017 8:50:26 AM

    Freddie Mac today announced total multifamily origination volumes could increase by three- to six-percent this year, and even top $295 billion, depending on movements in the 10-Year Treasury rate.

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  • Mobile mania: Responding to changing consumer expectations

    4/13/2017 7:03:07 AM

    Mobile technology has drastically changed consumer behavior, preferences and expectations. Real estate professionals are flocking to the latest apps to leverage their user-centricity and speed to transform their interactions with clients. Here are some lessons that can be gleaned from three top mobile technology companies, as well as some best practices real estate agents can apply directly to their own businesses.

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  • How to drive employee engagement

    4/12/2017 7:43:30 AM

    In the U.S., disengaged employees cost organizations an estimated $450–550 billion each year. Behind this impasse lies a critical piece of the engagement puzzle that organizations often overlook: the role and responsibility of individual workers. 

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  • Housing confidence dips amid home price gains, rising rate expectation

    4/11/2017 5:49:23 AM

    The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index decreased 3.8 percentage points in March to 84.5, following February’s survey high. Five of the six components that comprise the HPSI were down.

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  • ALTA releases updates to supplemental best practices materials

    4/10/2017 12:26:23 PM

    The American Land Title Association has released updates to supplemental materials for its Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices.

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  • Mortgage credit more crunched than in 2001: Here’s why

    4/7/2017 9:19:07 AM

    A research paper recently published by the Urban Institute classifies today’s credit environment as “extraordinarily tight” — so tight, in fact, that more than one million mortgages were lost in 2015, the majority of which would have gone to homebuyers with credit scores below 660.

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  • Nurturing your referral network online and offline

    4/6/2017 12:27:52 PM

    Referrals have always been a significant source of business for real estate agents. According to our Referral Report, the close rate of a typical referral is around 50 percent and nearly 40 percent of inbound referrals come from the agent’s sphere of influence (SOI). These findings reinforce the importance of consistently engaging with your sphere of influence both online and offline.

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  • Five effective Facebook tops to close more leads

    4/4/2017 11:36:10 AM

    Leigh Brown is a top-producing Realtor in North Carolina. Last year, her brokerage had 300 transactions worth $75 million in sales. She attributes her success, among other things, to Facebook. Here are some of her tips and tricks from the March 2017 Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar to create a more effective Facebook presence.

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  • Lower my stress, please

    4/3/2017 10:33:51 AM

    How do I lower my stress while increasing my business? When you're a small business owner, you do everything yourself. But as you grow, you start to realize your real value is in doing money-making activities, not administrative tasks. So where do you start when you can't hire an admin?

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  • Realtors sound the alarm as NFIP expiration looms

    3/30/2017 11:12:46 AM

    The National Flood Insurance Program is once again under the microscope in Washington D.C., as the program is set to expire on Sept. 30. Remembering the uncertainty surrounding the 2010 expiration, and subsequent series of temporary extensions, the National Association of Realtors said it is working closely with federal regulators and members of Congress to strengthen the program.

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  • Pending home sales leap 5.5 percent in February

    3/29/2017 2:16:46 PM

    Pending home sales rebounded sharply in February to their highest level in nearly a year and second-highest level in over a decade, according to the National Association of Realtors. All major regions saw a notable hike in contract activity last month.

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  • Defect, fraud and misrepresentation risk surges higher

    3/28/2017 9:08:09 AM

    The First American Loan Application Defect Index released March 27 showed the frequency of defects, fraudulence and misrepresentation in the information submitted in mortgage loan applications increased 4.1 percent in February 2017 as compared with the previous month.

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  • Lenders' economic optimism reaches survey high

    3/27/2017 8:08:59 AM

    Mortgage lender expectations for the economy and home prices reached survey highs amid challenges to profit margins from competition and a shift toward purchase mortgages, according to Fannie Mae’s first quarter 2017 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey.

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  • ​New home sales rise 6.1 percent in February

    3/24/2017 3:47:43 PM

    Sales of newly built, single-family homes continued to expand, rising 6.1 percent in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 592,000 units, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

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  • Appraisal initiatives highlighted in banking agencies report

    3/23/2017 11:20:16 AM

    The federal banking agencies announced this week that are developing a proposal to increase the threshold for requiring an appraisal on commercial real estate loans from $250,000 to $400,000, in order to reduce regulatory burden.

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  • ​ABA welcomes EGRPRA Report, calls for ongoing review of burdensome regs

    3/23/2017 11:14:23 AM

    The American Bankers Association reacted positively to the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act report, issued to Congress on March 21 by the federal banking agencies, but called for a more consistent effort to review burdensome regulations.

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  • Seven crucial facts about FHA loans

    3/21/2017 7:44:59 AM

    Less-rigorous lending standards and lower down payment requirements make FHA loans popular with mortgage borrowers. 

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  • ​Mortgage lending regs, GSE reform, regulatory burden top ICBA policy priorities

    3/20/2017 9:02:47 AM

    The Independent Community Bankers of America announced its top legislative and regulatory priorities for 2017. ICBA made the announcement at its ICBA Community Banking LIVE national convention in San Antonio.

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  • Data Dilemma: Developing a risk management protocol

    3/17/2017 9:25:56 AM

    Negligence is the cause of 79 percent of all data breaches. And 50 percent of all data breaches are caused by employees. Auditing your data, putting best practices in place, and educating your staff and agents about the potential threats can go a long way to mitigating data breaches. Read on to learn how.

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  • Consumer confidence in economy on the rise

    3/16/2017 8:08:47 AM

    According to a NAR survey, in the first three months of 2017, the share of households believing the economy is improving soared to its highest share in the survey's five-quarter history (62 percent), and is up from 54 percent last quarter and 48 percent in March 2016.

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  • ​Builder confidence hits 12-year high

    3/15/2017 9:51:45 AM

    Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes jumped six points to a level of 71 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). This is the highest reading since June 2005.

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  • February new home mortgage applications increase 2.2 percent YOY

    3/15/2017 9:49:09 AM

    The MBA Builder Application Survey data for February 2017 shows mortgage applications for new home purchases increased 2.2 percent compared to February 2016. Compared to January 2017, applications increased by 16 percent relative to the previous month.

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  • Wire Fraud: 7 ways to protect your clients from an ongoing threat

    3/14/2017 7:54:56 AM

    The FBI reported last year that U.S. citizens suffered losses of nearly $180 million dollars as a result of business email wire fraud. What can you do to caution your clients about wire fraud scams and how to avoid them? Read on for some safeguards you can put into place.

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  • Commercial/multifamily delinquencies remain low in Q4

    3/13/2017 1:09:28 PM

    Delinquency rates for commercial and multifamily mortgage loans remained low in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Commercial/Multifamily Delinquency Report.

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  • The Power of Listings

    3/10/2017 7:49:54 AM

    Many times, teams focus on generating buyer leads, spending thousands of dollars chasing internet leads that primarily drive more buyers. While I don't have a problem paying for leads, the team leader should focus primarily on listings and building their listing inventory. Here are a few things our high-volume listing clients do to ensure their team's success with listings.

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  • Big jump in construction jobs feeds employment gains in February

    3/10/2017 7:36:53 AM

    Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 235,000 in February, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Construction employment increased by 58,000, with gains in specialty trade contractors  and in heavy and civil engineering construction. Construction has added 177,000 jobs over the past 6 months.

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  • Three seller tips to avoid home inspection nightmares

    3/9/2017 9:07:48 AM

    It's your job as an agent to keep sellers calm and focused on the big picture; however, when it comes to home inspections, most homeowners aren't used to having a stranger peer into their attic, open every cupboard and closet or test every appliance.  Since maintaining your cool is a must, here are three tips for navigating the home inspection process with your clients.

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  • NAR survey finds Gen X on the mend

    3/8/2017 8:24:26 AM

    An improving economy, multiple years of strong job growth and the notable increase in home values in most markets fueled a greater share of purchases from Generation X households over the past year.

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  • ​Consumer confidence in housing hits all-time high

    3/8/2017 8:15:34 AM

    The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) increased by 5.6 percentage points in February to 88.3, a new all-time high. Five of the six components that comprise the HPSI were up, and three hit record highs.

    Read More...
  • CFPB report outlines credit reporting problems, actions taken

    3/6/2017 9:18:49 AM

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a report on March 2, detailing the problems in the credit reporting industry that the Bureau has uncovered and corrected through its oversight work.

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  • Power broker strategies: Leveling the playing field

    3/3/2017 8:15:18 AM

    In 2017, Marti Hampton, broker/owner of RE/MAX One Realty, feels the greatest opportunity for real estate agents is to focus on one thing — whether it be condos, new construction or being a seller’s agent —  and dominant the marketshare in that one area.

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  • ​Federal Reserve reports continued modest to moderate expansion

    3/2/2017 10:29:10 AM

    Reports from all 12 Federal Reserve Districts indicated that the economy expanded at a modest to moderate pace from early January through mid-February. Real estate and lending continued to show steady growth.

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  • Using technology to gain repeat customers and protect your business

    3/2/2017 10:17:16 AM

    Leveraging technology in your business should be one of your top priorities, and with the variety of services from which to select, you must be an expert at choosing the right technology at the right time.

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  • ​Freddie Mac outlook explores potential impact of rising inflation

    3/1/2017 8:20:49 AM

    Freddie Mac released its monthly outlook for February, looking at the potential impact rising inflation could have on the housing and mortgage markets under various scenarios as markets prepare for the start of the spring homebuying season.

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  • ​Adding a new twist to 'tried and true'

    2/28/2017 3:32:02 PM

    Somebody once said, "If we keep on doing what we've been doing, we'll get the same results," which works just great if you happen to be on the right track to begin with. But in today's ever-changing real estate market, there's a new variable every day.

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  • Foreclosures fall 82 percent from recession peak

    2/28/2017 3:22:11 PM

    Foreclosures are continuing their exodus from the housing market, with foreclosure inventory falling 30 percent and foreclosure completions falling 40 percent in 2016, according to CoreLogic's December 2016 National Foreclosure Report.

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  • 5 habits that boost productivity, generate leads and lead to success

    2/27/2017 9:24:20 AM

    There is no secret to reaching lasting success; however, if you take a hard look at your habits, you'll see what's holding you back from becoming more successful. Our habits — those things we do automatically every day — can either help or hinder us on our journeys to achieving our goals. Here are five good habits to adopt this year.

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  • Eight promises you can make to every real estate client

    2/24/2017 10:01:40 AM

    Successful real estate professionals have their clients’ best interests at heart. They are committed to helping buyers and sellers make the best possible real estate decisions. But what’s the best way to communicate this commitment to potential clients? One way is to put it in writing.

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  • It’s good to be a seller: Sales see highest profits since 2007

    2/24/2017 9:56:59 AM

    It's a good time to be a seller. Home sellers in 2016 saw the highest profits since 2007, averaging a 21 percent gain, or $38,206, according to ATTOM Data Solutions' Year-End 2016 U.S. Home Sales Report. 

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  • ​MBA releases 2016 year-end commercial/multifamily servicer rankings

    2/23/2017 8:09:07 AM

    MBA released its year-end ranking of commercial and multifamily mortgage servicers' volumes as of Dec. 31, 2016.  At the top of the list of firms is PNC Real Estate/Midland Loan Services with $517.5 billion in U.S. master and primary servicing, followed by Wells Fargo Bank N.A. with $505.2 billion, Berkadia Commercial Mortgage LLC with $221.7 billion, KeyBank National Association with $205.6 billion, and CBRE Loan Services with $112.0 billion.

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  • ​Existing-home sales jump in January

    2/22/2017 10:32:49 AM

    Existing-home sales stepped out to a fast start in 2017, surpassing a recent cyclical high and increasing in January to the fastest pace in almost a decade, according to the National Association of Realtors. All major regions except for the Midwest saw sales gains last month.

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  • Housing affordability hits eight-year low, remains favorable

    2/21/2017 8:32:34 AM

    Shortages of buildable lots and skilled labor, along with excessive regulations, rising mortgage interest rates and ongoing home price appreciation pushed housing affordability in Q4 2016 to its lowest point since the Q3 2008, according to the National Association of Home Builders /Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index.

    Read More...
  • January new home purchase mortgage applications increase year over year

    2/21/2017 8:16:41 AM

    The Mortgage Bankers Association Builder Application Survey data for January 2017 shows mortgage applications for new home purchases increased 9.2 percent compared to January 2016. Compared to December 2016, applications increased by 22 percent relative to the previous month.

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  • ​Policy uncertainty remains at the center of modest growth expectations

    2/17/2017 9:55:34 AM

    Conservative growth expectations for 2017 persist as the markets continue to weigh the unfolding policies of the new Administration, according to the Fannie Mae Economic & Strategic Research Group’s February 2017 Economic and Housing Outlook. 

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  • Flood insurance expert advises real estate agents to educate themselves about flood risk, insurance

    2/16/2017 9:32:21 AM

    In a session titled Never Underestimate Your Client’s Flood Risk at the National Association of Realtors Expo, Melanie Graham with H20 Partners Inc. emphasized how critical it is for real estate agents to be educated about the flood zoning in their areas, and how that knowledge can be a “value add” to the services they offer.

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  • ​CFPB explores impact of alternative data on credit access for consumers

    2/16/2017 8:25:59 AM

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has launched an inquiry into ways to expand access to credit for consumers who are credit invisible or who lack enough credit history to obtain a credit score.

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  • Creating distinctive client value in destination services

    2/15/2017 7:55:26 AM

    We often hear from relocation directors and their brokers that they are feeling disenfranchised these days. Their core services for incoming transferees – personalized, needs-based, locally expert and top-agent supported – are too often bypassed by an internet-oriented generation that equates “electronic” with “faster and better.”

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  • How to generate more leads in 2017

    2/14/2017 7:55:55 AM

    As a real estate professional, you know that leads are the lifeblood of your business. There are many ways to generate leads, whether through traditional means such as cold-calling and door-knocking, or through more reliable means such as asking for referrals from past and current clients and connections. Remember, the more leads you generate, the more business you'll close. 

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  • Leadership views of C-suite and millennial execs

    2/13/2017 10:33:08 AM

    With each passing day, millennial leaders assume an increasing role in steering both the nation's economy and the organizations that comprise it. Yet the subject of their leadership lacks adequate research, with widespread assumptions painting an often inaccurate picture.

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  • Swift gains in Q4 push home prices to peak levels

    2/10/2017 8:29:25 AM

    The best quarterly sales pace of the year pushed available housing supply to record lows and caused price appreciation to slightly speed up in the final three months of 2016, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors. 

    Read More...
  • New RIHA study details shifts in rented versus owner-occupied homes

    2/9/2017 11:24:45 AM

    The Research Institute for Housing America (RIHA) today released a new study examining the shift of existing housing stock between owner-occupied and rental over time.

    Read More...
  • ​Mortgage credit availability increases in January

    2/8/2017 10:27:10 AM

    Mortgage credit availability increased in January according to the Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) which analyzes data from Ellie Mae’s AllRegs Market Clarity business information tool.

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  • Rosier economic sentiment boosts housing attitudes in January

    2/8/2017 7:48:13 AM

    The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index increased by 2 percentage points in January to 82.7, ending a five-month decline. Four of the six components that comprise the HPSI were up in January.

    Read More...
  • 55+ housing market ends Q4 at record high

    2/6/2017 8:09:11 AM

    Builder confidence in the single-family 55+ housing market remains strong in the fourth quarter of 2016 with a reading of 67, up eight points from the previous quarter, according to the National Association of Home Builders' 55+ Housing Market Index released Feb. 3.

    Read More...
  • Retail trade, construction, financial sector boost employment numbers

    2/3/2017 9:00:04 AM

    Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 227,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Feb. 3. Job gains occurred in retail trade, construction and financial activities.

    Read More...
  • MBA outlines recommendations for GSE reform

    2/2/2017 2:58:02 PM

    The Mortgage Bankers Association released a paper outlining its recommended approach for secondary mortgage market reform, with the objective of ending the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and establishing a new, durable foundation for the secondary mortgage market. 

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  • U.S. middle market finishes 2016 with strong performance

    2/1/2017 7:34:30 AM

    U.S. middle market companies reported an average revenue growth of 6.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016, capping off a strong year of overall growth, according to the National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM). Combined with steady job gains, this finding from the NCMM's Q4 2016 Middle Market Indicator (MMI) points to strong fundamentals for middle market firms in 2017

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  • On the Job: How to Get More Done Each Day

    1/31/2017 7:35:38 AM

    Believe it or not, some simple adjustments in your daily habits can yield a more productive day and let you get a handle on your workload again. 

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  • ​New home sales post highest yearly total since 2007

    1/30/2017 11:25:50 AM

    Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 12.2 percent in 2016 to 563,000 units, the highest annual rate since 2007, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

    Read More...
  • Freddie Mac announces top multifamily lenders in 2016

    1/27/2017 9:01:23 AM

    Freddie Mac published a list of the 11 lenders who transacted the most multifamily financing volume with the company in 2016. Through these and other lenders, Freddie Mac Multifamily posted a record $56.8 billion in new multifamily volume last year, financing more than 738,000 rental units.

    Read More...
  • CoreLogic: Flooding, damaging wind most destructive natural hazards in 2016

    1/27/2017 8:56:43 AM

    CoreLogic released its annual Natural Hazard Risk Summary and Analysis, which shows relatively average or below-average activity for most U.S. natural hazards with the exception of flood and wind, both of which saw above-average activity, due in large part to Hurricane Matthew.

    Read More...
  • Existing-home sales slide in December; 2016 sales best since 2006

    1/26/2017 6:38:58 PM

    Existing-home sales closed out 2016 as the best year in a decade, even as sales declined in December as the result of ongoing affordability tensions and historically low supply levels, according to the National Association of Realtors.

    Read More...
  • ​Bank economists see tighter labor market driving wages higher

    1/25/2017 8:23:28 AM

    ​The U.S. economy will grow steadily through next year, creating more jobs and higher wages, according to the Economic Advisory Committee of the American Bankers Association. The group forecasts inflation-adjusted GDP growth of 2.1 percent this year and 2.3 percent in 2018, up from 2.0 percent last year.

    Read More...
  • ​Three new Instagram features and what they mean for real estate

    1/24/2017 9:56:52 AM

    When Instagram released major updates back in August, users were introduced to Stories, a photo-sharing opportunity similar to Snapchat. With the popularity of Stories increasing, Instagram has created additional features to make the platform even more unique.

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  • ​Political uncertainty tempers housing outlook

    1/24/2017 9:47:34 AM

    Despite a strong year-end performance by the stock market and a post-election jump in confidence among consumers and businesses, limited information on the new administration’s potential economic policies led to a conservative 2017 growth projection of 2.0 percent, according to the Fannie Mae's research group.

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  • ​Nationwide housing production up 11.3% in December on multifamily surge

    1/20/2017 3:18:42 PM

    A surge in multifamily production resulted in overall nationwide housing starts rising 11.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.23 million units, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. Single-family starts dropped 4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 795,000 units.

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  • Foreign real estate investors not dissuaded by interest rates, new administration

    1/19/2017 8:15:10 AM

    Foreign investors continue to view U.S. real estate as a sound investment, with an astounding 95 percent of those recently surveyed by the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate reporting they plan to "maintain or increase their investment" in 2017. U.S. real estate was ranked No. 1 by respondents for both security and stability, as well as opportunity for capital appreciation.

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  • ​The latest evolution of real estate wire fraud

    1/18/2017 10:06:58 AM

    Most articles about real estate fraud have focused on the same scenario: hackers breaking into professionals' email accounts to learn about upcoming transactions, then emailing the buyer to wire money to the hacker's account. In reality, there are many other ways hackers insert themselves into communications.

    Read More...
  • Expanded data key to opening up mortgage credit

    1/18/2017 9:44:43 AM

    Trended credit data, which offers an expanded perspective to lenders evaluating a credit applicant, could be key to opening up mortgage credit accessibility, according to an analysis by Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting bureaus. 

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  • Maximize mortgage applications with women clients

    1/17/2017 3:20:27 PM

    In 2015, the homeownership rate of female householders in one-person households was 24.56 percent higher than the homeownership rate of male householders in the same category, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Despite earning less, single women are becoming homeowners in formidable numbers.

    Read More...
  • ​Freddie Mac multifamily lending tops $56.8B in 2016

    1/13/2017 8:32:15 AM

    Freddie Mac announced today that it saw a record-setting $56.8 billion in loan purchase and bond guarantee volume in 2016, up from $47.3 billion in 2015. The company also announced it issued an unprecedented $51.2 billion in multifamily securities, effectively transferring the majority of credit risk from taxpayers to private investors.

    Read More...
  • December new home purchase mortgage applications Increase 2 percent YOY

    1/13/2017 7:11:51 AM

    The Mortgage Bankers Association Builder Applications Survey data for December 2016 shows mortgage applications for new home purchases increased 2 percent relative to December 2015.

    Read More...
  • ​Housing will continue gradual climb to higher ground in 2017

    1/11/2017 5:15:59 AM

    Fueled by a growing economy, solid employment gains and rising household formations, single-family production will continue on a gradual, upward trajectory in 2017, according to economists speaking at the National Association of Home Builders International Builders’ Show in Orlando this week.

    Read More...
  • NAR: FHA mortgage insurance premium reduction a fresh start

    1/10/2017 6:08:45 AM

    Lower costs are coming for homebuyers seeking a Federal Housing Administration insured mortgage. FHA announced Jan. 9 that they are cutting annual premiums for mortgage insurance from 0.85 percent to 0.60 percent, a move the National Association of Realtors said breathes new life into the program.

    Read More...
  • ​156,000 jobs added to economy in December

    1/9/2017 11:31:00 AM

    Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 156,000 in December, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job growth occurred in health care and social assistance.

    Read More...
  • Pending home sales backpedal in November

    1/5/2017 9:09:59 AM

    Pending home sales dipped in November to their lowest level in nearly a year as the brisk upswing in mortgage rates and not enough inventory dispirited some would-be buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors.

    Read More...
  • ​More than 80 percent of largest U.S. housing markets improving

    1/4/2017 9:29:01 AM

    Freddie Mac released its Multi-Indicator Market Index, showing the majority of the top 100 housing markets across the country steadily improving, with one additional state, Georgia, entering its outer historic benchmark range of housing activity.

    Read More...
  • DOL Overtime Rule delay: What to do if changes are already in process

    1/3/2017 9:39:59 AM

    The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting the Department of Labor’s overtime rule from taking effect in December. The preliminary injunction has posed a problem for companies who have already adjusted their pay structures, changed employee status or advised their employees of the change to come. What can an employer do now?

    Read More...
  • Drones for real estate marketing: Are they worth it?

    12/30/2016 6:39:12 AM

    Now that more and more real estate agents have access to aerial photos and videos through drones, homebuyers and sellers are changing the way they expect to interact with real estate listings. Some of you might be thinking, "Is it really worth it for me to pay someone to take aerial photos and video of my listing?" Let's look at some numbers.

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  • Disciplines to make 2017 your best year

    12/29/2016 8:05:44 AM

    No matter how good or bad the year 2016 was for your business, 2017 is going to be insanely profitable — but only if you have the five disciplines you need to seize those opportunities, says Tom Ferry, CEO of Ferry International and best-selling author of Life! By Design. The good news is, it’s not too late to develop or strengthen those disciplines.

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  • Minority, renter households at center of low homeownership rate

    12/28/2016 8:08:18 AM

    The homeownership rate spiraled to its lowest point in 50 years earlier this year, and while it picked up in the third quarter, it remains off its recent peak. The populations bearing out the trend the most, according to a new analysis by the Pew Research Center, are low-income, minority, renter, and young adult households.

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  • New home sales up 5.2 percent in November

    12/26/2016 7:00:23 AM

    Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 5.2 percent in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 592,000 units, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

    Read More...
  • Post-election surge in mortgage rates paints gloomy picture for lenders

    12/23/2016 8:01:54 AM

    Mortgage lender expectations for near-term mortgage demand plummeted amid the rapid rise in interest rates following the U.S. presidential election, according to Fannie Mae’s fourth quarter 2016 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey.

    Read More...
  • Freddie Mac AIMI shows third consecutive quarter of multifamily growth

    12/22/2016 10:36:21 AM

    Freddie Mac announced multifamily investing fundamentals grew stronger in the third quarter, both nationally and in all 13 major metro markets tracked by the Freddie Mac Multifamily Apartment Investment Market Index.

    Read More...
  • Existing home sales forge ahead in November

    12/21/2016 9:46:16 AM

    A big surge in the Northeast and a smaller gain in the South pushed existing-home sales up in November for the third consecutive month, according to the National Association of Realtors.

    Read More...
  • Confidence improves at the prospect of pro-growth policies

    12/21/2016 9:39:44 AM

    Sentiment measures have improved to multi-year highs heading into next year, but 2017 is expected to deliver another year of pedestrian growth, according to the Fannie Mae Economic & Strategic Research Group’s December 2016 Economic and Housing Outlook.

    Read More...
  • ​Home sales expected to expand modestly in 2017

    12/20/2016 1:04:02 PM

    Existing-home sales are forecast to muster only a small gain in 2017 because of increasing mortgage rates and shrinking consumer confidence that now is a good time to buy a home, according to new consumer survey findings and a 2017 housing forecast update from the National Association of Realtors.

    Read More...
  • FHFA issues final rule on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac duty to serve underserved markets

    12/19/2016 6:20:43 AM

    The Federal Housing Finance Agency has issued a final rule to implement the Duty to Serve provisions mandated by the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992. The statute requires Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to serve three underserved markets – manufactured housing, affordable housing preservation, and rural housing – by improving the distribution and availability of mortgage financing for residential properties that serve low and moderate-income families.

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  • Builder confidence closes year on a high note

    12/16/2016 8:13:36 AM

    Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes jumped seven points to a level of 70 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. This is the highest reading since July 2005.

    Read More...
  • CFPB consumer credit trends tool forecasts potential consumer risks

    12/16/2016 7:57:48 AM

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has unveiled Consumer Credit Trends, a web-based tool to help the public monitor developments in consumer lending and forecast potential future risks. The beta version of the tool covers the mortgage, credit card, auto loan, and student loan markets.

    Read More...
  • November new home mortgage applications Increase 12 percent year over year

    12/14/2016 8:49:56 AM

    The Mortgage Bankers Association Builder Applications Survey data for November 2016 shows mortgage applications for new home purchases increased 12 percent relative to November 2015. Compared to October 2016, applications decreased by 3 percent relative to the previous month. 

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  • Five ways to drive real estate leads with SEO

    12/13/2016 9:35:51 AM

    Having a hard time getting found online? How’s your social media footprint? Are your business profile, website and Facebook page drawing all the attention to your business that they could be? Here’s your chance to find out if you're doing everything you can to point people to your website, social pages and listings. 

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  • ​Tips for writing replies to any review

    12/12/2016 10:56:31 AM

    Reviews are powerful. They can be compelling enough to persuade consumers to reach out, or hurtful enough to shrink your business. That’s why responding to reviews is just as important as requesting them. 

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  • ​CFPB announces Fall 2016 rulemaking agenda

    12/9/2016 8:30:26 AM

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, federal agencies must publish regulatory agendas twice a year. The OMB recently posted online CFPB's updated agenda submitted in early fall. Portions of that agenda will also be published in the Federal Register.Here’s a brief summary of various CFPB initiatives.

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  • Refi applicants discouraged by limited credit access

    12/8/2016 9:15:45 AM

    The proportion of consumers who applied for credit and reported feeling “discouraged” by or “rejected” in their experience has clawed higher, especially among mortgage refinance applicants, in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s recently released Survey of Consumer Expectations Credit Access Survey for October 2016.

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  • ​Independent mortgage bank volumes up, production profits stable in Q3

    12/8/2016 9:10:51 AM

    Independent mortgage banks and mortgage subsidiaries of chartered banks reported a net gain of $1,773 on each loan they originated in the third quarter of 2016, up from a reported gain of $1,686 per loan in the second quarter of 2016, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Dec. 7 in its Quarterly Mortgage Bankers Performance Report.

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  • ​FHA loan limits to rise in 2017

    12/7/2016 8:07:20 AM

    The Federal Housing Administration on Dec. 1 announced the agency's new schedule of loan limits, and due to an increase in housing prices, most areas in the country will see a slight increase in loan limits in 2017. These loan limits are effective for case numbers assigned on or after January 1, 2017, and will remain in effect through the end of the year.

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  • Social media keeps changing but are you?

    12/6/2016 10:28:33 AM

    That pesky social media. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on it — that you’re hip, you’re in the game — the tectonic plates shift a bit and suddenly, you’re behind the curve. Staying current on social can be overwhelming and feel impossible.

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  • ​CoreLogic: Home prices Up 6.7 percent in October

    12/6/2016 10:16:51 AM

    CoreLogic, a global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider, released its CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI) and HPI Forecast for October 2016 which shows home prices are up both year over year and month over month.

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  • ​Freddie Mac: Housing markets steady with room for improvement

    12/2/2016 9:53:09 AM

    Freddie Mac released its Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi) Nov. 30, showing the majority of the top 100 largest housing markets across the country improving steadily, while helping to produce the best year in homes sales in a decade.

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  • ​Pending home sales crawl forward in October

    12/2/2016 9:44:08 AM

    Pending home sales were mostly unchanged in October, but did squeak out a meager gain for the second consecutive month, according to the National Association of Realtors.

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  • ​The Fed reports moderate growth pattern continues

    12/1/2016 7:24:14 AM

    According to the Federal Reserve’s Nov. 30 Beige Book release, the economy continued to expand across most regions from early October through mid-November. Residential real estate activity improved across districts. Reports about existing- and new-home sales were mixed, but most districts noted a slight to modest increase during the period.

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  • A North-South divide emerges in defect, fraud and misrepresentation risk

    11/30/2016 9:11:14 AM

    First American released its October 2016 Loan Application Defect Index, showing a further decrease in the frequency of defects, fraudulence and misrepresentation in the information submitted in mortgage loan applications, with the highest levels of risk emerging in the South.

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  • Drones take flight in real estate industry

    11/30/2016 7:48:53 AM

    If there’s one real estate trend that’s surely taken flight over the last couple years, it’s drones (pun very much intended). Drones are leveling-up listing photos, turning basic from-the-ground house shots into aerial masterpieces that showcase the entire property — water features, landscapes, mountain views, and more. 

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  • ​Modest economic growth expected despite legislative and regulatory uncertainty

    11/29/2016 9:49:15 AM

    The forthcoming change in the U.S. administration poses new uncertainties about the economy, but modest growth is still expected for 2016 and 2017, according to Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group’s November 2016 Economic and Housing Outlook.

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  • ​Purchase applications drive increase in latest MBA weekly survey

    11/29/2016 9:37:50 AM

    Mortgage applications increased 5.5 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending Nov. 18.

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  • Court Issues Injunction Prohibiting Dec. 1 Implementation of DOL Overtime Rule

    11/28/2016 8:23:05 AM

    The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued an injunction prohibiting the Department of Labor’s (DOL) overtime rule from taking effect on Dec. 1. The court was responding to a petition brought by 21 state attorneys general and several business coalitions, arguing that the DOL had overstepped its statutory authority.

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  • Existing-home sales jump again in October

    11/23/2016 8:56:47 AM

    Existing-home sales ascended in October for the second straight month and eclipsed June's cyclical sales peak to become the highest annualized pace in nearly a decade, according to the National Association of Realtors. All major regions saw monthly and annual sales increases in October.

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  • ​Finish the Year Strong with These Success Tips

    11/22/2016 7:57:29 AM

    Are you close to reaching your goals for the year? Whether you maintained your momentum throughout the year or you’re trying to catch up after a setback, you can still get on track to finish the year strong.

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  • ​October new home mortgage applications increase 8 percent year over year

    11/21/2016 8:30:42 AM

    The Mortgage Bankers Association Builder Application Survey data for October 2016 shows mortgage applications for new home purchases increased 8 percent relative to October 2015. Compared to September 2016, applications decreased by 2 percent. 

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  • ​MBA, NAR weigh in on FHA's annual report to Congress

    11/18/2016 10:35:16 AM

    The Federal Housing Administration’s annual report boasting a healthy Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund was impetus for the National Association of Realtors to call for FHA to reduce mortgage insurance premiums to better reflect the risk in the marketplace and to eliminate life-of-loan mortgage insurance. But the Mortgage Bankers Association was a bit more cautious, citing the continued volatility of the HECM book of business as a reason to remain conservative.

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  • Apartment and condominium market posts positive gains in Q3

    11/18/2016 9:07:46 AM

    The Multifamily Production Index, released Nov. 17 by the National Association of Home Builders, posted a gain of three points to 53 in the third quarter. The MPI has been at 50 or above since the beginning of 2012.

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  • Keeping in touch: It's more than updating your holiday list

    11/17/2016 7:49:27 AM

    According to the 2015 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 41 percent of buyers were referred to their real estate agent by a friend, neighbor or relative, and 12 percent used the agent who assisted them in a previous transaction. Cultivating relationships with clients can pay off in the long run.

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  • More companies move to integrate marketing and communications

    11/16/2016 9:45:34 AM

    More companies today are seeing greater efficiency and benefit in operating marketing and communications as a single function, according to a recent Conference Board report.

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  • Study: 'Unscoreable' consumers likely as creditworthy as 'scoreables'

    11/15/2016 11:32:22 AM

    Consumers deemed “unscoreable” by conventional credit scoring models — and shut out of access to credit, including mortgages, as a result — are likely to be as creditworthy as “scoreables,” a recent study by VantageScore Solutions reveals.

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  • Serious delinquency rate lowest since 2007

    11/14/2016 10:45:10 AM

    The delinquency rate for mortgage loans on one-to-four-unit residential properties decreased 14 basis points to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.52 percent of all loans outstanding at the end of the third quarter of 2016. This was the lowest level since the second quarter of 2006 when the delinquency rate was 4.39 percent, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's National Delinquency Survey.

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  • Housing affordability edges lower in Q3

    11/11/2016 9:00:26 AM

    Ongoing home price appreciation offset a small decline in mortgage interest rates to move housing affordability slightly lower in the third quarter of 2016, according to the National Association of Home  Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) released Nov. 10.

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  • Top 3 reasons to use electronic notarizations

    11/11/2016 8:53:56 AM

    With remote e-notarizations, digital signature technology is used to sign documents securely. Video conferencing allows notaries to witness signatures from all parties involved, and then they use e-notary technology to notarize documents electronically.Read on for the top three reasons to begin using remote e-notarizations.

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  • Housing recovery continues at modest pace

    11/10/2016 8:34:50 AM

    Markets in 162 of the approximately 340 metro areas nationwide returned to or exceeded their last normal levels of economic and housing activity in the third quarter of 2016, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI) released Nov. 7. This represents a year-over-year net gain of 73 markets.

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  • ​Consumer pessimism on display as HPSI drops again

    11/9/2016 7:49:51 AM

    The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) dipped 1.1 points to 81.7 in October, the third decrease in as many months.

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  • Commercial/multifamily originations to grow 4 percent in 2017

    11/8/2016 10:52:13 AM

    The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) projects originations of commercial and multifamily mortgages will grow to $537 billion in 2017, an increase of 4 percent from expected 2016 volumes of $515 billion.  

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  • ​Freddie Mac: Real estate professionals influence clients' lender choice

    11/8/2016 10:42:33 AM

    Most real estate professionals refer clients to a select group of lenders and they choose those companies based on the ease of doing business with them, their reputations, and the strength of those relationships, according to a survey commissioned by Freddie Mac.

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  • ​Housing supply crunch accelerates metro home price growth during Q3

    11/4/2016 5:44:32 AM

    Persistent supply shortages throughout the country led to slightly faster home price appreciation during the third quarter, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors. The report also revealed that seven of the 10 most expensive housing markets in the U.S. are in the West.

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  • ​First-time Buyers, Single Women Gain Traction in NAR’s 2016 Buyer and Seller Survey

    11/4/2016 5:34:23 AM

    The quickening pace of home sales over the past year included a small rebound from two key segments of buyers who have been missing in action in recent years: first-time buyers and single women.

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  • Basic Training: Tools vs. Skills

    11/4/2016 5:29:12 AM

    The tools that real estate agents and brokers have at their fingertips are second to none, and we, as an industry, are quick to innovate and purchase more tools. That’s the good news. The bad news is that all the best tools in the world won’t close a transaction, and the tools won’t work if you don’t learn how to use them. 

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  • NAHB says HUD proposed elevation standards a ‘disaster’ for housing affordability

    10/31/2016 7:26:20 AM

    In the face of increased flooding risks and rising sea levels, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed elevation standards for all HUD-supported properties. NAHB lashed out against the proposal, claiming HUD is overstepping its bounds and that the proposal would be a “disaster for housing affordability.”

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  • U.S. housing market continues steady improvement

    10/28/2016 7:54:50 AM

    Freddie Mac released its Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi), showing three additional states – Indiana, Alabama and New Jersey – and one additional metro area – Dayton, Ohio – entering their historic benchmark levels of housing activity.

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  • Pending home sales shift higher in September

    10/28/2016 7:23:04 AM

    Pending home sales shifted higher in September following August's notable dip and are now at their fifth highest level over the past year, according to the National Association of Realtors. Increases in the South and West outgained declines in the Northeast and Midwest.

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  • ​Multifamily lending up 28 Percent in 2015

    10/25/2016 9:01:04 AM

    In 2015, 2,855 different multifamily lenders provided a total of $249.8 billion in new mortgages for apartment buildings with five or more units, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Annual Report on Multifamily Lending.

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  • Know Before You Owe: A one-year lookback

    10/24/2016 7:48:58 AM

    Comprehensive regulatory overhauls are never easy, and harmonizing the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s “Know Before You Owe” mortgage initiative has been no exception.

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  • Generating listings in low inventory markets

    10/21/2016 8:46:02 AM

    The greatest thing about real estate is that there are a lot of options for creating new listings, but one of the saddest things is that only a few agents are taking full advantage of those options. According to Dirk Zeller, the problem isn’t that they don’t know what to do; the problem is that their ratio of direct income producing activities is not proportionate to their production supporting activities.

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  • U.S. economy expected to grow 2.4 percent in second half

    10/21/2016 7:59:35 AM

    Economic growth is expected to average 2.4 percent in the second half of the year, up from 1.1 percent in the first half but at a slightly slower pace than predicted in the prior forecast, according to Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group’s October 2016 Economic and Housing Outlook.

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  • ​The Fed reports economy continues to grow, construction continues to expand

    10/19/2016 2:51:25 PM

    Reports from the 12 Federal Reserve Districts suggest national economic activity continued to expand during the reporting period from late August to early October. Residential construction and real estate activity expanded further, home price appreciation continued at a modest pace in general, and commercial real estate activity and construction improved since the last report.

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  • RESI: Strong Outlook for Refis Drives Increase in Market Confidence

    10/18/2016 9:33:57 AM

    According to the Q3 2016 First American Real Estate Sentiment Index (RESI), title agents exhibited a 7.6 percent increase in market production confidence.  

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  • How to Use Instagram to Help Build Business

    10/17/2016 7:57:16 AM

    Instagram just passed the 400-million-user mark, and with the U.S. population spending an average of 1.7 hours on social media every day, this is a big deal for your business. Think you don’t need Instagram followers? Consider that 61 percent of Instagram users are between the ages of 18-64.

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  • ​Mortgage rates tick higher

    10/14/2016 7:34:42 AM

    Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), showing average fixed mortgage rates following Treasury yields and moving higher.

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  • How to create a successful routine

    10/13/2016 10:06:28 AM

    Although the concept of a routine sounds boring, having one is crucial to your success. Want to create a better routine? Here’s how.

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  • High-performance home marketing services more important than ever

    10/12/2016 8:20:18 AM

    Corporate transfer reluctance has declined consistently from its 78 percent high (2012) to 35 percent (2015) according to Worldwide ERC’s annual U.S. Transfer Volume & Cost Survey. Transferee homeowners are less likely to decline job transfers because of departure housing-related reasons. So how can you enhance the value you already bring to corporate transferees?

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  • CoreLogic: Foreclosure inventory down nearly 30% from August 2015

    10/11/2016 10:11:58 AM

    CoreLogic released its August 2016 National Foreclosure Report which shows the foreclosure inventory declined by 29.6 percent and completed foreclosures declined by 42.4 percent compared with August 2015.

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  • ​Consumers Show Increased Caution in Home Purchase Sentiment in September

    10/10/2016 9:03:13 AM

    The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) decreased 2.2 points to 82.8 in September, moving further off of survey highs.

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  • Health care, professional services boost hiring in September

    10/7/2016 9:37:41 AM

    Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 156,000 in September, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 5.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Oct.7. Employment gains occurred in professional and business services and in health care.

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  • ​NAR: FHA Single Family Handbook update delivers clarity for appraisers

    10/6/2016 8:20:17 AM

    HUD recently announced updates to their SF Handbook that clarifies new requirements for appraisers to operate and physically observe appliances on a property during the completion of an appraisal. 

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  • ​Job opportunities in residential construction offer career path for millennials

    10/5/2016 8:16:29 AM

    As the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) celebrates Careers in Construction Month in October, builders around the country are seeking skilled craftsmen to help them build the American Dream.
     

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  • Seven tips for winning over your share of buyers

    10/5/2016 7:50:08 AM

    As a real estate salesperson, one of your goals is to win over your share of buyers – and perhaps even more than your share. To do that, you need to understand what homebuyers want from their agent, and from the home-buying experience.

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  • Five social media strategies for customer engagement

    10/3/2016 9:05:15 AM

    Social media pages, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., are all popular platforms you can use to generate awareness about your services and qualifications, while also maintaining and building those relationships with your clients. You may not think people are interested in what you have to say, but they are. You just have to say it the right way.

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  • Three tips to convert online leads every time

    9/30/2016 10:25:57 AM

    Finding new prospects is the lifeblood of any real estate practice. Lead generation is one of the most profitable tasks you can factor into your schedule, especially in today’s market. But what happens after you capture new leads?

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  • Seven rules to managing a productive real estate team

    9/30/2016 10:14:47 AM

    Every MLS market has a highly productive real estate team. They are a dominating force and everyone knows their “For Sale” signs. We often wonder, “Who leads them and what do they do differently?”

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  • Millennials balance hopeful aspirations and harsh economic realities

    9/29/2016 8:55:30 AM

    A new national survey of Millennials reveals a generation convinced the economy is failing them, a generation that is willing to work hard to better their lot, and a generation experiencing a great deal of anxiety about the future.

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  • New index shows housing market moving deeper into buy territory

    9/28/2016 9:50:54 AM

    The United States housing market as a whole is moving marginally deeper into buy territory, according to a new index from Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University which suggests that, on average, the majority of housing markets around the country are in good shape and remain a sound investment.

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  • How to stay motivated: The art and science of leveraging small wins

    9/28/2016 9:43:54 AM

    Humans by nature are goal-oriented beings – we often experience the burning excitement of a new goal, which gives us the motivation to take our first steps toward achieving it. Perhaps your goal is to lose weight, become the top salesperson in your company, or save up enough money for that dream trip to Greece.

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  • How to create an unstoppable business

    9/27/2016 6:57:21 AM

    According to a recent Gallup poll, half of all small businesses fail within five years of opening. Some fail because they run out of money; others because the stress of running a business takes its toll. Whatever the reason, opening a business is a risky endeavor. However, by following these seven steps, you can create a business that defies the odds and lasts.

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  • CoreLogic reports a 3.9 percent YOY increase in mortgage fraud risk in Q2

    9/26/2016 7:32:15 AM

    CoreLogic released its latest Mortgage Fraud Report on Sept. 22, showing a 3.9 percent year-over-year increase in fraud risk, as measured by the CoreLogic Mortgage Application Fraud Risk Index.

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  • ​Existing-home sales soften further in August

    9/23/2016 7:58:20 AM

    Existing-home sales eased up in August for the second consecutive month despite mortgage rates near record lows as higher home prices and not enough inventory for sale kept some would-be buyers at bay, according to the National Association of Realtors. Only the Northeast region saw a monthly increase in closings in August, where inventory is currently more adequate

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  • NAHB concerned ESA changes to NFIP will harm housing affordability

    9/23/2016 7:40:13 AM

    The National Association of Home Builders has urged Congress to oppose the inappropriate use of the Endangered Species Act to change the focus of the National Flood Insurance Program away from protecting lives and property due to flooding loss.

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  • Housing production hits a mild speed bump in August

    9/22/2016 8:56:44 AM

    Nationwide housing starts fell 5.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.14 million units in August, according to newly released data from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department. Overall permit issuance edged 0.4 percent lower.

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  • NAR study: Real estate firms have positive outlook, despite sales volume decrease

    9/21/2016 8:01:25 AM

    The vast majority of real estate firms have an optimistic outlook for the future of the industry’s profitability and growth, according to the National Association of Realtors 2016 Profile of Real Estate Firms. Profitability expectations have declined from the 2015 survey, mainly due to inventory shortages and home-price growth, but real estate firms remain confident about their overall future profitability.

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  • ​Economic growth on the upswing, with a few emerging soft spots

    9/20/2016 7:09:02 AM

    Economic growth is poised to accelerate to 2.6 percent in the second half of the year, a rebound from the lackluster growth of 1.0 percent in the first half of 2016, according to Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group’s September 2016 Economic and Housing Outlook.

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  • ​Builder confidence surges in September

    9/19/2016 10:05:09 PM

    Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes in September jumped six points to 65 from a downwardly revised August reading of 59 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released today. This marks the highest HMI level since October 2015.

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  • ​Lender profit expectations more positive as compliance cost concerns recede

    9/16/2016 10:58:14 AM

    Mortgage lenders have reported a net positive profit margin outlook for a third consecutive quarter, according to Fannie Mae’s third quarter 2016 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey.

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  • Financial regulators release revised information security booklet

    9/15/2016 10:30:39 AM

    The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council members issued a revised Information Security booklet, which is part of the FFIEC Information Technology Examination Handbook. 

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  • Affordability, down payment uncertainty stalling first-time homebuyers

    9/14/2016 9:30:26 AM

    Lofty home-price growth and tight supply are leading to softening confidence among renters about whether it’s a good time to buy a home, according to the latest installment of the NAR Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey. The survey also found that a misconception about how much of a down payment is needed to buy could be unnecessarily delaying some qualified homebuyers.

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  • Leveraging the power of client reviews

    9/13/2016 9:46:27 AM

    One of the most common questions I hear from our clients is, “How do I grow my customer reviews?” Client reviews are a powerful marketing tool — they offer the peer evaluation shoppers have come to trust, and you can bet that in this digital age, potential buyers or sellers will look you up online to see your reviews from past clients.

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  • Visual Storytelling: Tips for mastering the art of Instagram

    9/12/2016 9:01:11 AM

    Creating and implementing a consistent social media strategy is vital for real estate agents looking to cultivate online leads while maintaining current relationships. For real estate agents wanting to reach every type of buyer possible, social media is a resource you can’t go without, or else money will be left on the table and market share will surely decrease.

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  • HPSI points to continued, moderate strengthening of housing

    9/9/2016 8:43:57 AM

    Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index shows that consumers have a fairly optimistic 12-month outlook on housing, supported by increased job confidence and more favorable expectations regarding their personal financial situations compared with this time last year.

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  • ​Commercial/multifamily delinquencies remain low in second quarter

    9/9/2016 8:08:35 AM

    Delinquency rates for commercial and multifamily mortgage loans remained low in the second quarter of 2016, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Commercial/Multifamily Delinquency Report.

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  • Preventing wire fraud is a team effort

    9/8/2016 11:57:19 AM

    The real estate industry has recently been a primary target of wire fraud. Buyers have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars as a result. Fortunately, there are steps that you and your buyers can take to protect everyone from fraud.

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  • ​Freddie Mac reports housing market holding steady

    9/7/2016 8:15:07 AM

    Freddie Mac released its Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi), showing South Carolina and two additional metro areas – Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia – entering their historic benchmark levels of housing activity.

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  • ​151,000 jobs added in August, unemployment rate remains at 4.9 percent

    9/6/2016 11:00:40 AM

    Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 151,000 in August, and the unemployment rate remained at 4.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Sept. 2. Employment continued to trend up in several service-providing industries.

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  • Five ways big data is changing real estate

    9/1/2016 8:39:24 AM

    Every facet of the business world has been radically changed by the way data is collected, analyzed and transmitted. So much so, that past models of how major industries were run have now become largely obsolete. Data analysis is considered the “gold standard” by which companies look at the future.

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  • Four must-do farming tips for new agents

    8/31/2016 2:16:13 PM

    According to the National Association of Realtors, there are just over one million active real estate licensees in the United States. With new agents joining the market every day, competition can be fierce. Becoming a real estate agent can be both exciting and highly rewarding, but it can present potential challenges as well.

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  • ​Commercial real estate expansion foreseen

    8/31/2016 2:10:38 PM

    Buoyed by a steadily improving labor market and strong demand for multifamily housing, commercial real estate activity should remain on an upward trajectory, with a growing share of it is expected to be in smaller markets, according to the National Association of Realtors quarterly commercial real estate forecast.

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  • How to create real estate listings that sell

    8/30/2016 11:44:00 AM

    Online listings are the first step of almost every real estate sale these days so it is crucial that yours be in great shape. Attracting buyers with property listings can be a challenge for many real estate agents, but if you keep the right things in mind, it is easy to use them effectively.

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  • Existing-home sales lose steam in July

    8/29/2016 8:16:25 AM

    Slowed by frustratingly low inventory levels in many parts of the country, existing-home sales lost momentum in July and decreased year-over-year for the first time since November 2015, according to the National Association of Realtors. Only the West region saw a monthly increase in closings in July. 

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  • Cookies can't redeem a bad first impression

    8/26/2016 8:15:40 AM

    Open houses are meant to help sell a home by attracting agents and potential homebuyers. Therefore, the most important aspect of an open house is getting people to show up and look at the property. But how can you attract the most people?

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  • ​GSEs publish redesigned Uniform Residential Loan Application form and dataset

    8/25/2016 11:49:59 AM

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced the publication of the redesigned Uniform Residential Loan Application, the standardized form used by borrowers to apply for a mortgage loan.

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  • ​New home sales climb to highest level since October 2007

    8/24/2016 8:30:43 AM

    Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 12.4 percent in July from a downwardly revised June reading to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 654,000 units, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. 

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  • ​Rising home prices affect housing affordability in the Q2

    8/23/2016 9:00:34 AM

    Solid home price appreciation more than offset a modest reduction in mortgage interest rates to push housing affordability lower in the second quarter of 2016, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index.

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  • Mortgage originations expected to top $2 trillion

    8/22/2016 5:13:30 PM

    Freddie Mac released its monthly Outlook for August showing that for the first time since 2012, mortgage originations are expected to top $2 trillion in 2016.

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  • ​Consumer spending expected to bolster economic growth for second half of 2016

    8/19/2016 11:07:02 AM

    Economic growth is expected to rebound in the second half of 2016 after a disappointing second quarter, keeping the full-year growth outlook at 1.8 percent, according to Fannie Mae. However, continued momentum in consumer spending in the third quarter is crucial for driving growth as business investment is struggling.

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  • 5 ways to grow your brand awareness using promotional merchandise

    8/18/2016 8:52:26 AM

    When competition is fierce and customers are continuously bombarded with products and services, how can you stand out from the crowd? How can you make customers believe that what you offer is superior? How can you gain their trust and loyalty? Branding is the answer.

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  • What you need to know about the Data Security Act of 2015

    8/17/2016 7:27:18 AM

    Businesses are at the mercy of hackers, sniffers, and the criminal element who are after your data. Many states have their own regulatory requirements, and this lacks uniformity and creates issues for those who do business across the United States. H.R. 2205 is attempting to create business compliance which will supersede the state regulations and protect consumer information.

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  • Attract new clients through your website

    8/16/2016 11:04:26 AM

    It’s no secret that the Internet is a hotbed of real estate. Between Zillow, Trulia, Redfin and the countless other real estate websites, it’s also extremely competitive. Before you write off using a website for increasing your sales, consider this: 80 percent of potential buyers research on the Internet before purchasing. With the right strategy, you can get your slice of that 80 percent and increase your leads and sales. 

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  • ​Dip in distressed saturation levels impacts affordability

    8/15/2016 8:07:19 AM

    Most markets across the nation remain relatively unchanged, but a longer term dip in distressed saturation levels in the West indicates a strong recovery at the expense of overall affordability, according to Clear Capital’s Home Data Index Market Report.

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  • Home price gains unfettered in most metro areas during Q2

    8/12/2016 6:16:43 AM

    Home prices maintained their robust, upward trajectory in a vast majority of metro areas during the second quarter, causing affordability to slightly decline despite mortgage rates hovering at lows not seen in over three years, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors. The report also revealed that for the first time ever, a metro area – San Jose, California – had a median single-family home price above $1 million.

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  • ​10 Links to Success from Floyd Wickman

    8/11/2016 8:11:40 AM

    It’s one thing to become successful, but how do you stay successful year after year? To be successful at anything, you have to start with being a successful person. Realtor Floyd Wickman tells agents they can’t be successful in real estate until they’ve first achieved success as a person.  

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  • Mortgage credit availability increases, MBA updates MCAI methodology

    8/10/2016 7:19:07 AM

    Mortgage credit availability increased in July according to the Mortgage Credit Availability Index, a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association which analyzes data from Ellie Mae's AllRegs Market Clarity business information tool. MBA also announce it has updated its methodology to better measure credit availability and has released a new historical series based on this updated methodology.

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  • HPSI surpasses survey high, as Millennials shift towards purchase market

    8/9/2016 8:21:18 AM

    Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) increased 3.3 points to 86.5 in July, reaching a new all-time survey high and indicating a more positive outlook in the housing market-specific HPSI components. Each of the six HPSI components increased in July.

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  • ​Multifamily market headed for record $280B year despite moderating fundamentals

    8/8/2016 8:14:21 AM

    Nationally, multifamily origination volumes are on track to increase seven percent and set a new annual record of $280 billion in 2016, according to the Freddie Mac  Multifamily Research Group. Nevertheless, origination growth is moderating compared to the same period in 2015, when volumes rose by 35 percent.

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  • ​The four keys to reproducible results

    8/5/2016 9:08:00 AM

    Matthew and Janice are emerging entrepreneurs who recently went into business together. During a meeting, they discussed their future profit projections and how well their business is performing financially six-months after its opening. What began as a conversation about dollars and profit margins quickly turned into a debate over the Great Recession, and the benefits of transforming an organization primarily driven by profit, to an organization led by purpose-driven employees.

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  • FinCEN expands reach of real estate ‘Geographic Targeting Orders’ beyond Manhattan and Miami

    8/5/2016 8:55:18 AM

    The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network announced Geographic Targeting Orders (GTO) that will temporarily require U.S. title insurance companies to identify the natural persons behind shell companies used to pay “all cash” for high-end residential real estate in six major metropolitan areas.

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  • Attracting the Right Talent

    8/4/2016 7:29:12 AM

    One of the biggest issues facing brokers and teams today is their ability to find, attract and hire talent. To keep any office humming along efficiently, it’s critical to get the right people in key positions.

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  • Uncertainty drives homebuying, data shows

    8/3/2016 11:05:13 AM

    Fueled by an era of uncertainty, consumers turn to homebuying as a means of stability, a new study shows.

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  • ​Stay connected to your business when you're on the go

    8/3/2016 5:32:12 AM

    As a busy real estate professional, you’re likely most productive when you’re away from your desk and out meeting with clients, showing homes and presenting your home marketing plan to potential sellers. Luckily, technology has made it possible to run your business from anywhere with the help of your smartphone or tablet.

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  • Facebook Live the latest trend to infiltrate the open house scene

    7/29/2016 7:50:47 AM

    For real estate agent Zac McHardy — hailing out of Australia — showing potential buyers through a house via Facebook Live has not only amped up local interest in the home located at 188 Newman Road, Geebung, Queensland, it has also set him on a path of viral fame.

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  • ​Existing-home sales ascend in June, sparked by first-time buyers

    7/28/2016 9:31:04 AM

    Boosted by a greater share of sales to first-time buyers, existing-home sales maintained their upward trajectory in June and increased for the fourth consecutive month, according to the National Association of Realtors. NAR also reported that pending home sales were mostly unmoved in June, but did creep slightly higher, as supply and affordability constraints prevented a bigger boost in activity.

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  • Fannie Mae enhances HomeReady Mortgage to expand access to credit

    7/27/2016 10:34:37 AM

    Fannie Mae announced enhancements to HomeReady, the affordable mortgage option designed to meet the diverse needs of borrowers.

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  • ​Boomerang buyers making a gradual return

    7/27/2016 10:30:19 AM

    While millions of former homeowners reentering the buying market would have a significant impact on home sales, CoreLogic reports that historical data shows a more gradual return rate for those who lost their homes to foreclosure, with less than half returning to homeownership even 16 years after the foreclosures were completed.

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  • 55+ buyers remain actively engaged in real estate market

    7/25/2016 9:08:37 AM

    Freddie Mac released its monthly Insight for July with further analysis of the perceptions and plans of 55+ homeowners and the impact they'll have on the broader housing market for years to come, based on the results from the Freddie Mac 55+ Survey.

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  • The real estate professional's SEO guide for using keywords

    7/22/2016 3:26:02 PM

    Keyword selection is the heart of an SEO campaign. If you select the wrong keywords, most or all of your subsequent campaign investment will be wasted, even if you use brilliant SEO techniques. Here are best practices for selecting and deploying keywords in your SEO campaign. Follow these guidelines and you will attract relevant traffic and generate great leads as a result.

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  • Consumer spending lifts growth as businesses face headwinds

    7/21/2016 8:14:58 AM

    The economic growth outlook for the second half of the year remains unchanged from the prior forecast at about 2.0 percent, according to Fannie Mae. Consumer spending is expected to drive growth for the rest of 2016, as businesses face headwinds from shrinking profits, weak productivity, and rising labor costs in the face of uncertainty stemming from Brexit and the U.S. presidential election. 

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  • How to build your brand

    7/20/2016 4:57:21 PM

    If you have a business, you have a brand, and each time you connect with your clients — whether in person, on the phone or online — you have a chance to build your brand and create loyal advocates.

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  • Builder confidence holds firm in July

    7/19/2016 1:48:04 PM

    Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes in July fell one point to 59 from a June reading of 60 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. NAHB said builder confidence has remained in a relatively narrow positive range that is consistent with the ongoing gradual housing recovery. 

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  • NAR-backed condo legislation passes U.S. Senate, offers relief for homebuyers

    7/18/2016 2:35:53 PM

    The U.S. Senate last week passed H.R. 3700, the "Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act," by unanimous consent. This legislation includes reforms to current Federal Housing Administration restrictions on condominium financing, among other provisions.

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  • NAR reports slight decline in international sales volume

    7/15/2016 9:27:59 AM

    Waning economic growth in many countries and higher home prices further enhanced by a strengthening U.S. dollar resulted in a slight decline in international sales dollar volume of U.S. property over the past year and a significant retreat in buying from non-resident foreigners.

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  • ​Mortgage Credit Availability Decreases in June

    7/14/2016 11:35:46 AM

    Mortgage credit availability decreased in June according to the Mortgage Credit Availability Index, a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association which analyzes data from Ellie Mae's AllRegs Market Clarity business information tool.

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  • 3 Essentials to Achieving Success

    7/13/2016 7:56:04 AM

    The most successful people have three things in common: a positive attitude, the drive to succeed and the habits in place to help them reach their goals. One of my mentors, Jim Rohn, said if you work harder on your business than you do on your job, you’ll go from making a living to making a fortune.

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  • Down Payment Assistance Programs Save Homebuyers More Than $17K

    7/12/2016 8:12:29 AM

    Analysis of the impact of down payment assistance on the cost of buying a home — including the down payment and monthly house payments for a median-priced home in 513 counties nationwide — was released this week in a joint report by RealtyTrac and Down Payment Resource.
     

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  • MBA Releases Updated Commercial/Multifamily Real Estate Finance Forecast

    7/11/2016 12:46:59 PM

    The Mortgage Bankers Association projects originations of commercial and multifamily mortgages will total $500 billion in 2016, roughly flat from the $504 billion originated in 2015 and slightly less than the record of $508 billion originated in 2007.

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  • Builders Urge Caution as Congress Seeks to Reauthorize NFIP

    7/8/2016 9:47:57 AM

    Extreme flood insurance rate hikes and inaccurate floodplain maps drive up the cost of homeownership and threaten small businesses, the nation’s home builders told Congress at a June Senate hearing.

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  • ​Employment Numbers Roar Back in June

    7/8/2016 9:38:30 AM

    Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 287,000 in June, and the unemployment rate rose to 4.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job growth occurred in leisure and hospitality, health care and social assistance, and financial activities.

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  • ​Loan Application Defect and Fraud Risk Reaches Historically Measured Low Point

    7/7/2016 10:12:07 AM

    The First American Loan Application Defect Index, which reflects estimated mortgage loan defect rates over time, by geography and by loan type, is down 28.4 percent from the high point of risk in October 2013.

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  • Fannie and Freddie Prevent Nearly 3.7 Million Foreclosures

    7/6/2016 9:34:05 AM

    The FHFA recently reported that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac completed 49,573 foreclosure prevention actions in Q1 2016, bringing the total number of foreclosure prevention actions to nearly 3.7 million since September 2008. These measures have helped more than 3 million borrowers stay in their homes, including nearly 1.9 million who received permanent loan modifications.

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  • Understanding First-Time Homebuyers: What to Know and How to Serve

    7/5/2016 7:26:53 AM

    The summer buying season is in full swing, and first-time homebuyers make up a sizeable portion of your firm’s potential clientele — 32 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors. What do we know about today’s first-time homebuyer? 

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  • ALTA Board Approves Modifications to Best Practices

    7/1/2016 8:10:00 AM

    ALTA’s Board of Governors on June 9 approved proposed changes to the association’s “Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices” to better reflect market needs and trends.

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  • Stay Safe Online: What Is Ransomware and How Can I Avoid It?

    6/30/2016 8:37:37 AM

    Reports of ransomware — an invasive software that demands ransom to access unlawfully locked digital files — have risen in the last year, according to the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) (StaySafeOnline.org).

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  • ​Pending Home Sales Skid in May

    6/30/2016 8:17:41 AM

    After steadily increasing for three straight months, pending home sales let up in May and declined year-over-year for the first time in almost two years, according to the National Association of Realtors. All four major regions experienced a cutback in contract activity last month.

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  • Top 4 Ways to Build a Winning Prospecting Plan

    6/29/2016 8:20:20 AM

    It’s never too early or too often to take a close, strategic look at your prospecting plan. In addition to providing a wonderful experience for your homebuyers, your online property data program can be a rich and insightful resource for finding your next clients and buyers.

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  • Are You Limiting Your Social Reach? Five Unique Ways to Break Through

    6/29/2016 8:07:07 AM

    If you search online for tips about increasing your social reach, you’ll probably find articles about posting useful information, following the 80/20 rule, and keeping your audience engaged by responding to their comments and questions. While these tips are important, what are some new ways you can boost the number of people seeing your social posts? 

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  • ​Housing to Stay on Track Despite Rising Prices

    6/27/2016 1:35:12 PM

    Freddie Mac released its monthly outlook for June, showing that low mortgage rates are helping to keeping housing on track despite rapidly rising house prices.

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  • ​Commercial Drone Use Set to Take Flight with Release of FAA Rule

    6/24/2016 4:37:45 AM

    Commercial drone use in the real estate business got a boost with the release of the Federal Aviation Administration's final rule governing small unmanned aerial systems, or UASs, in the national air space.

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  • ​Existing-Home Sales Grow 1.8 Percent in May, Highest Pace in More Than Nine Years

    6/23/2016 6:39:27 AM

    Existing-home sales sprang ahead in May to their highest pace in almost a decade, while the uptick in demand this spring amidst lagging supply levels pushed the median sales price to an all-time high, according to the National Association of Realtors. All major regions except for the Midwest saw strong sales increases last month.

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  • 8 Red Flags that Your Company Needs a Service Overhaul

    6/22/2016 3:47:29 PM

    Joseph Michelli — who worked with Mercedes-Benz USA to positively and dramatically transform its customer experience and who has written books on service giants like Zappos and Starbucks — knows just how hard it is for most organizations to keep customers happy for the long haul. Here, he shares eight service-related red flags that require your immediate attention.

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  • Economic Growth Outlook Holds Steady for 2016

    6/21/2016 10:36:11 AM

    Encouraging signs from consumer spending and housing activity in early Q2 now tempered by labor market slowdown, according to Fannie Mae.

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  • ​Helping Your Clients Understand Appraisals and Your Appraiser Understand the Property

    6/20/2016 10:33:56 AM

    There can be a lot of misunderstanding around the appraisal process, particularly with the new emphasis on appraisal independence. But real estate agents can actually play a powerful role in providing important information to the appraiser and in helping their clients understand the purpose and scope of the appraisal. Here are a few things real estate agents should keep in mind as they guide their clients.

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  • ​Massive Actions Create Massive Results

    6/17/2016 7:17:42 AM

    Most of the time, the key to success is not the person or the market; rather, the activities we focus on each day are those that produce the greatest return on our time investment. I would go so far as to say it’s our massive actions that generate the greatest results.

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  • ​Builder Confidence Rises Two Points in June

    6/16/2016 10:51:59 AM

    After holding steady for the past four months, builder confidence in the market for newly constructed single-family homes rose two points in June to a level of 60 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). This is the highest reading since January 2016.

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  • Lenders: Purchase Mortgage Demand Expected to Grow, Credit Standards Unchanged

    6/15/2016 4:41:10 PM

    Lender attitudes toward the housing market are positive overall heading into Q3, having recovered from a significant decline in recent quarters, according to Fannie Mae’s second quarter 2016 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey.

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  • Salmon Introduces Bill to Fine Tune CFPB Complaint Database

    6/14/2016 7:59:05 AM

    U.S. Representative Matt Salmon (R-AZ) introduced a bill on June 8 that would require the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to verify and put into context the consumer complaints they are presenting.

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  • ​71 Percent Believe Student Debt Delays Homeownership

    6/14/2016 7:27:18 AM

    Seventy-one percent of non-homeowners repaying their student loans on time believe their debt is stymieing their ability to purchase a home, and slightly over half of all borrowers say they expect to be delayed from buying by more than five years.

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  • 268,000 U.S. Homeowners Regained Equity in Q1

    6/10/2016 9:25:51 AM

    CoreLogic released a new analysis showing 268,000 homeowners regained equity in Q1 2016, bringing the total number of mortgaged residential properties with equity at the end of Q1 2016 to approximately 46.7 million, or 92 percent of all mortgaged properties.

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  • Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Delinquency Rates Low, Record Decline for CMBS Loans

    6/9/2016 8:23:16 AM

    Delinquency rates for commercial and multifamily mortgage loans remained low in the first quarter of 2016, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Commercial/Multifamily Delinquency Report.
     

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  • ​Independent Mortgage Bank Profits Up from Previous Quarter, Down Year-over-Year

    6/9/2016 8:17:50 AM

    Independent mortgage banks and mortgage subsidiaries of chartered banks reported a net gain of $825 on each loan they originated in the first quarter of 2016, up from a reported gain of $493 per loan in the fourth quarter of 2015, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported in its Quarterly Mortgage Bankers Performance Report.

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  • Increase in Consumers' Household Income Growth Perceptions Boosts HPSI

    6/8/2016 8:37:48 AM

    Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index increased 1.6 points to 85.3 in May, reaching a new all-time survey high and rebounding from an 18-month low in March. Three of the six HPSI components increased in May, led by a 7 percentage point increase on net in the share of consumers reporting that their income was significantly higher than it was 12 months ago.

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