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Early Reaction to HAFA Program

The administration's Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program hasn't even been in effect for a full week, and positive feedback is already coming in. Loan Resolution Corporation, a Scottsdale, Arizona-based pre-foreclosure asset manager that acts as a vendor for banks implementing HAFA, said it expects a tremendous surge in short sales to accompany the recent implementation of this new program.

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Mortgage Application Volume Plummets 11%

A decline in refinance activity due to a spike in interest rates caused overall mortgage loan application volume to plummet 11 percent for the week ending April 2, 2010, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported Wednesday.According to MBA's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey, the Refinance Index tumbled 16. percent from the previous week, and the refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 58.7 percent of total applications from 63.2 percent the week prior. However, the Purchase Index increased 0.2 percent on a week-to-week basis.

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PMI Pulls Back 2010 Forecast on Year’s Soft Start

PMI Mortgage Insurance Co. is tempering its expectations for the housing market. Although the industry is finally beginning to see some light through the debris of the national mortgage crisis, the California-based company says 2010 has gotten off to a slow start, putting the brakes on any projections for a swift recovery. PMI projects existing home sales to reach 5.50 million units by the end of the year, and prices to end 2010 at about the same level they started.

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Home Price Forecast: Fear and Greed Are Detroit’s 10-4

In its home price forecast released last week, University Financial Associates (UFA) put things into perspective for Detroit, a city besieged by unemployment and plummeting property values, and riddled with foreclosed homes. UFA says in the Motor City, 10 years of real price gains were erased in just 4 years.

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Mortgage Production Profits Fall in the Fourth Quarter of 2009

Although still favorable, profit margins for independent mortgage bankers and subsidiaries fell in the fourth quarter, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported in its most recent Quarterly Mortgage Bankers Performance Report. According to the report, independent mortgage bankers and subsidiaries made an average profit of $890 on each loan they originated in the fourth quarter of 2009, down from $902 per loan in the third quarter of 2009 but up from $296 in the fourth quarter of 2008.

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Home Purchases by Investors Fell Sharply in 2009: NAR

While distressed housing conditions may seem like the perfect storm for investors to cash in on a buyer's market, a new report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reveals that the percentage of home sales last year falling into the category of residential investment property was down significantly. Based on NAR's study, investment-home sales dropped 16 percent between 2008 and 2009, and sold for a median price of $105,000.

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FHA Announces New Regulations to Strengthen Risk Management

On Monday, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced new rules to further reduce and better manage counterparty risks to its insurance funds. These regulations will increase the net worth requirements of FHA-approved lenders, strengthen lender approval criteria, and make lenders liable for the oversight of mortgage brokers.

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Americans Continue to Value Homeownership, Survey Shows

Millions of families across the nation have been adversely affected by the foreclosure crisis, but the majority of Americans still have a positive attitude towards homeownership, Fannie Mae found in its National Housing Survey. The survey, conducted between December 2009 and January 2010, polled homeowners and renters to gauge the public's current attitudes toward housing in light of the current foreclosure crisis. The results of the survey were released Tuesday, showing that the dream of homeownership hasn't died.

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Fed’s William Emmons on Real Estate and Economy

Federal regulators and economist have been warning the industry, the public, and the administration for a good many months now about the devastation a commercial real estate (CRE) meltdown could leave in its wake. On Tuesday, a gentleman personifying both factions of these red-flag-raisers - William Emmons, economist and assistant vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis - spoke to attendees at The Five Star Institute's Commercial Default 360 event in Dallas.

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