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Mortgage Bankers Stepping up Financing for Commercial Real Estate: MBA

Contrary to popular belief, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) says financing for new commercial and multifamily mortgages is on the rise. According to a quarterly survey released by MBA Tuesday at its Commercial Real Estate Finance convention in Las Vegas, commercial and multifamily mortgage loan originations were 12 percent higher in the fourth quarter of 2009 than during the same period last year, and 15 percent higher than the third quarter of 2009.

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Real Capital Analytics Names Global Chief Economist, EVP

Following the recent acquisition of Real Estate Econometrics (REE) by Real Capital Analytics (RCA), a global research firm based in New York City, Dr. Sam Chandan of REE was appointed as chief economist, EVP, and a member of the management committee at RCA, according to an announcement Tuesday by the firm.

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GSEs Select U.S. Bank to Support Housing Finance Agency Programs

U.S. Bancorp announced Monday that its lead bank, Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank N.A., was selected by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to act as administrator and closing agent for the federal government's temporary credit and liquidity program and the new issuance bond program for state and local housing finance agencies (HFAs).

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Fed Reports a Pause in Credit Tightening

Most large banks have stopped tightening standards on a number of loan types, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve. But the central bank's latest loan officer survey says that while it may not be getting tougher for consumers to borrow, it's not getting any easier yet either because financial institutions have yet to unwind the considerable contraction that has built up over the past two years. Still, the pause in the stiffening might be seen as a hopeful sign for a financing world that's been strained since 2007.

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Pending Home Sales Stabilize in December

Following a market swing driven by response to the homebuyer tax credit, pending home sales in December have leveled off, according to a report Tuesday by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). In November, the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed during the month, dropped 16.4 percent after surging in preceding months before expiration of the original tax credit. After the credit was extended, the PHSI gained 1 percent in December, and NAR says it's a sign of stabilization.

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Properties Sold at Tax Sale in One Pennsylvania County Results in $2 Million Loss

A group of properties located in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania valued at almost $3.4 million were sold for less than a third of their value at the September 2009 annual upset tax sale. According to a recent report by the Real Estate Tax Sale Law Network, Inc. (RETSL), a servicer who connects lenders and property owners with legal experts who know the intricacies of real estate tax sale law, the properties sold for a total of $1,066,394, equaling only 31 percent of their value.

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California Revokes Record Number of Real Estate Licenses

The California State Department of Real Estate (DRE) says it revoked a record number of real estate licenses in 2009, and accepted another record number of license surrenders from real estate professionals facing disciplinary action. All told, over 775 licensees in the state had their license revoked or simply surrendered their license while facing accusations last year.

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Obama’s Budget Puts Big Lenders on the Hook

President Obama released his budget for fiscal year 2011 on Monday, and as expected, it includes a proposal for a hefty tax on big banks - a fee intended to recoup taxpayer dollars that the government shelled out to pull the financial system back from the brink of collapse. If approved by Congress, the levy would go into effect on June 30, 2010, but it's a touchy subject for the big guys since most of them have repaid their capital injections in full and the Treasury has already said it expects to turn a $19 billion profit from its bailout investments in banks.

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