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Author Archives: Esther Cho

NAR Reveals Forecast for Commercial Sector

Although the multifamily sector leads the commercial real estate market in terms of performance, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) expects the apartment rental market to see its vacancy rate tick up over the next year. The NAR projects the multifamily vacancy rate will rise from 3.9 percent in the second quarter to 4.1 percent during the same quarter in 2014. Though, according to the NAR, a vacancy rate of less than 5 percent makes the sector a landlord's market, where demand justifies increases.

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LPS: Home Prices Climb 2.9% from January to March

In its latest reading on home values, Lender Processing Services, Inc. (LPS) reported strong price gains in March and increases in every state and metro the data provider tracks. In dollar terms, the LPS Home Price Index (HPI) averaged $213,000 in March. The figure represents a 1.4 percent increase from February and a 7.6 percent improvement from March 2012. From January of this year to March, prices have climbed 2.9 percent.

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Three Former Execs of Failed Bank Convicted in Fraud Scheme

Three former executives of the Bank of the Commonwealth and a borrower were convicted by a federal jury in Norfolk, Virginia for their roles in a fraud scheme that eventually led to the bank's failure in 2011, the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) said last week in a release.

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Incorrect, Outdated Information Most Common Issue on Credit Reports

While 22 percent of Americans admitted they have never checked their credit report, nearly a quarter said they have encountered issues with their credit report, with incorrect or outdated negative marks leading as the main type of problem, according to a recent FindLaw. Overall, 23 percent of Americans said they have had a problem with their credit report, and 10 percent of problems were related to incorrect or outdated information about their credit history, such as delinquency payments, payment history, collection actions, court judgments, and bankruptcies.

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Report: Short Sales Replacing Mods as New Norm

Among the available foreclosure prevention tools, short sales are becoming the weapon of choice for servicers while the use of loan modifications has slowed, data from Fitch Ratings revealed. For example, among bank servicers, the percentage of resolutions in the loan modification category decreased to 26 percent in the last half of 2012 from 57 percent in the first half of 2010, according to Fitch's latest quarterly index. Meanwhile, short sales showed significant increases over the last couple of years. In 2012, short sales represented 51 percent of resolutions for bank servicers, up from a low of 20 percent in 2010.

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Institutional Investor Activity in California

As institutional investor activity continues in California, PropertyRadar decided to take a look at who these investors are and their purchase patterns. To rule out smaller and individual investors, PropertyRadar tracked transfers in qualities greater than 10 from an LLC or LP. The firm reported LLC and LP purchases represented only 5.1 percent of transfer activity in 2012 and 4.5 percent in 2013. However, upon closer examination, PropertyRadar found institutional investor activity was mainly concentrated in certain counties.

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DAL to Act as Consultant for Asset Management Specialists

Distressed Asset Logistics (DAL), a firm that works with banks, credit unions, mortgage banks and asset management firms to streamline default services and REO activities within the enterprise, announced it will serve as a consultant to Asset Management Specialists (AMS), one of the nation’s largest asset management companies.

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Clear Title Hires Chief Title Office for Commercial Division

Clear Title Agency of Arizona selected Scott Pearson to join the fast-growing title and escrow company as chief title officer. Pearson will lead the commercial escrow division and focus on new growth. Before joining Clear Title, he served as state manager at RedVision Systems in Arizona.

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Survey: Distressed Sales Fall, Investors Increase Short Sale Activity

In April, the share of sales involving foreclosures and short sales maintained their downward path, falling to the lowest level since 2009, according to the Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking survey. Using a three-month moving average, the survey found distressed sales accounted for 33 percent of home purchases in April, a decrease from 35.6 percent in March and 43.6 percent in April 2012. As expected, investor activity also slowed during the same time period.

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Freddie Mac Begins Securitizing Modified, Performing Loans

Freddie Mac is in the process of securitizing over $1 billion in performing loans that were modified. The modified loans have been performing for at least six consecutive months and were held in the company's mortgage portfolio. ""Securitizing loans that have been modified and are now performing will allow Freddie Mac to better manage its mortgage-related investments portfolio,"" said Adama Kah, Freddie Mac VP of distressed assets management.

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