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Daily Dose

Winter Season Takes A Toll on Q1 GDP

According to numbers put out by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) Wednesday, real gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annualized rate of 0.1 percent in Q1, a plunge from the final 2.6 percent growth rate reported for Q4 2013. The sudden slowdown reflects in part the toll this year’s winter season took on economic expansion, though not all changes were weather-related.

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Federal Reserve Continues Taper; Reduces Purchases by $10 Billion

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System issued their Federal Open Market Committee statement, commenting that growth in economic activity has picked up recently despite a sluggish first quarter, due in part to adverse weather conditions. The Fed noted that recovery in the housing sector remained slow.

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Fannie and Freddie Stress Test Results ‘Not Surprising’

Worst-case scenario: In the event of repeat of the 2008 economic downturn, the federal government’s main mortgage buyers, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may need another $190 billion bailout to keep them solvent. So say the results of the inaugural Dodd-Frank Act Stress Test, released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency Wednesday.

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Maryland Man Sentenced for Defrauding Homeowners

As a part of ongoing legal proceedings, the office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) announced that Brian Kelly was sentenced to one year and a day in federal prison for his participation in a $4 million nationwide home loan modification scheme.

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GAO: Foreclosure Review Process ‘Without Adequate Investigation’

Findings from a review done on foreclosures by the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that errors made by banks might have been much higher than believed. In September 2010, amid allegations of inappropriately signed documents, federal coordinators began on-site reviews of servicers to evaluate foreclosure processes.

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48,000 Foreclosures Completed in March

CoreLogic's latest National Foreclosure Report, utilizing data through March 2014, found that foreclosure inventory is down 5.1 percent from February. The percentage of homes seriously delinquent on their mortgages fell as well to 4.7 percent, the first time the seriously delinquent rate has been this low since October 2008.

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Case-Shiller Index Shows Slight Increase; Home Prices Steady

2015 HUD

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, considered one of the preeminent measures among home price indicators, shows prices among 20 of the nation's biggest markets grew 0.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis in February, matching January's rate of growth. Unadjusted, the index was unchanged month-over-month, though even that was an improvement over a 0.1 percent drop to start the year.

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Fast Home Sales in Some Markets Indicates Positive Spring

According to the Fastest Markets Report issued by Redfin, homes are "flying off the market" in many places, such as San Francisco, California; Austin, Texas; and Washington, D.C. The report notes that although homes are selling faster, fewer total homes are selling. Inventory has risen in these metros, but prices are holding buyers back.

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Freddie Mac Announces Fifth Multifamily K Certificates Offering

Freddie Mac announced a new offering of Structured Pass-Through Certificates (K Certificates). The offering is backed primarily by fixed-rate multifamily mortgages with a 7-year term. "The company expects to offer approximately $1.2 billion in K Certificates (K-715 Certificates)," the company said.

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Freddie Mac Report Shows Declining Portfolio Size

Short Sales

A new report from Freddie Mac, the GSE’s latest monthly volume summary, found that the company’s mortgage portfolio has declined in each of the first three months of this year. The decline in March was the fastest annualized decline, and saw the total portfolio volume fall at a rate of 2.9 percent.

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