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NAR Creates Single-Source Database of Properties Across the Nation

Starting this summer, Realtors will have access to an online real estate library with data on every property in the United States. Dubbed the Realtors Property Resource, this new tool is a project by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), and gives practitioners access to tax and assessment data; neighborhood, school, and demographic information; and maps and trends.

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Joint Venture Acquisition Announced by Greystar and Praedium

Lincoln Shores, a 631-unit apartment property in St. Petersburg, Florida, was recently acquired in a joint venture by Charleston, South Carolina-based Greystar Real Estate Partners and The Praedium Group, headquartered in New York. ""We are pleased to be entering into our first joint venture with Greystar, an exceptionally experienced and dynamic organization, and we look forward to future opportunities with them,"" said David Dowell, VP at Praedium.

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Fed Sees Signs of Recovery, Confirms Withdrawal from MBS Market

The Federal Reserve offered its most upbeat economic outlook in nearly a year at the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting Wednesday, but again voted to maintain the benchmark federal funds rate at near-zero. Policymakers also made it clear that they are sticking to their plan of pulling back from the secondary market, with the program to purchase mortgage-backed securities (MBS) coming to a close on March 31, as scheduled.

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Home Price Index Declines Further in November

On a year-over-year basis, national home prices, including distressed sales, declined 5.7 percent in November 2009, according to the LoanPerformance Home Price Index (HPI) by First American CoreLogic. This was an improvement from October's year-over-year price decline of 7.6 percent. However, on a month-to-month basis, national home prices in November declined 0.2 percent from October 2009.

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USHUD.com Predicts Resurgence of FHA Foreclosures

The Federal Housing Administration's (FHA) share of the mortgage financing market has increased nearly 1,000 percent since 2006, and with that exponential leap in the size of its portfolio, defaults and foreclosures have also begun to mount. Real estate experts at the online foreclosure marketplace USHUD.com predict FHA will hold title to 49 percent of residential foreclosure properties by 2018.

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Florida’s Existing Home, Condo Sales Soar in December

According to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors, both existing home and condo sales in the Sunshine State increased in December 2009. A jump in existing home and condo sales in December was reported in 17 of Florida's metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), and a majority of the state's MSAs reported increased sales for 18 consecutive months.

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Mortgage Applications Drop as Refinancing Hits Slump

Consumer demand for home loans fell last week for the first time in a month, as low interest rates failed to entice borrowers to refinance their mortgages, according to data released by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Wednesday. According to the industry trade group's weekly study, applications for refinancing plummeted 15.1 percent, dragging overall volume down 10.9 percent.

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Arizona Real Estate Market Shows Signs of Recovery

The Arizona real estate market seems to be on the mend, according to recent data released by Fidelity National Title, a title insurance and escrow service company in Arizona, in partnership with The Cromford Report, an online statistical resource on the metropolitan Phoenix residential resale market.

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Regulators Issue Final Guidance on New Securities Accounting Rules

Federal banking regulators issued a final risk-based capital rule last week outlining how lenders are to account for assets, including mortgages that have been repackaged and sold to investors. Mortgage-backed securities (MBS) had previously been excluded from banks' balance sheets, but new industry-wide accounting standards force lenders to move these securitized assets back onto their books.

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National Auction Company Reports Success in Foreclosure Auctions

According to an announcement Tuesday by Irvine, California-based REDC, the company auctioned 654 properties in its four-day, seven-city live auction series January 21, 23, 24, and 25, producing $41.4 million in sales. ""We're very pleased with the results from the auctions,"" said Jeff Frieden, CEO of REDC.

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