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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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Sharp Equity Offers Title Insurance for Arizona Trustee Sales

Phoenix-based Sharp Equity has begun offering title insurance for foreclosed homes purchased at trustee auctions in Arizona. The company says it's the first in the state to do so, and touts its approach as removing the last major risk from trustee sales and opening up the foreclosure market to the general public.

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Companies Partner to Originate, Service Multifamily Loans for Freddie

Prudential Mortgage Capital Company and Johnson Capital announced last week that the two companies have joined forces to originate and service multifamily loans for Freddie Mac under the Program Plus and Targeted Affordable loan programs offered by the GSE. The companies' joint venture, Prudential Johnson Apartment Capital Express, will originate multifamily loans from $5 million and above in Arizona, California, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

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Manhattan Housing Market Returning to Normal: Report

The Manhattan housing market is showing signs of a return to historically normal levels of sales and inventory, according to a first quarter market overview just released by the locally-based residential brokerage firm Prudential Douglas Elliman. The report says the momentum of the second half of 2009 carried forward boosting sales and shrinking inventory to levels consistent with the market's 10-year average.

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Government, Agents, Lenders, Vendors: One United Force When It Comes to HAFA

The administration's Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program is in effect, and players from every corner of the industry are teaming up and working in unison to help ensure the short sale program's success. The Treasury's Laurie Maggiano tells DSNews.com that major servicers are ready, with dedicated staff on hand to handle the influx of short sale requests. And some of the biggest players, like Bank of America, are taking it one step further, partnering with technology firm Equator and RE/MAX agents to hit the ground running.

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How Did Some Housing Markets Bypass the Bust?

With all the negative news and lackluster market indicators, it may seem as though the entire country is neck-deep in the worst housing slump most of us have ever seen. But a new study by two officials at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York indicates otherwise. They've concluded that much of the United States has been largely insulated from the boom-and-bust volatility of the most recent real estate cycle. They point to the markets that didn't ride the lofty price wave of the last decade and had little subprime lending as the great escapees.

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Former Cushman & Wakefield Exec Joins ARA Finance

Tom MacManus, a 30-year industry veteran, has been appointed as president and COO of Boca Raton, Florida-based ARA Finance, a joint venture of Apartment Realty Advisors (ARA) and CWCapital, LLC. MacManus will be responsible for the strategic development of the venture's national multifamily lending platform, which provides service through ARA's 19 offices located across the country.

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