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Ellie Mae Exec Appointed to MISMO Governance Committee

Ellie Mae announced Wednesday that Stephanie Berger, the company's director of e-mortgage solutions, has been appointed to the Mortgage Bankers Association's MISMO (Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization) residential governance committee.

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NAR Teams Up With NCST to Help Rebuild Foreclosure-Ridden Communities

In an effort to rebuild communities devastated by the foreclosure crisis, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has partnered with the National Community Stabilization Trust (NCST), a nonprofit organization that facilitates the transfer of foreclosed and abandoned properties from financial intuitions to local housing organizations. The collaboration will bring more than 1,400 state and local Realtor associations into a side-by-side relationship with nonprofits and state and local leaders to develop targeted plans to bring stabilization to struggling neighborhoods.

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Sun Belt Cities Continue to Lead Foreclosure Stats

Cities in the Sun Belt continue to post the nation's highest foreclosure rates. According to a year-end report released by RealtyTrac Thursday, four states accounted for all top 20 metro foreclosure rates in 2009. Las Vegas, Nevada registered the nation's highest rate - more than 12 percent. California claimed nine of the 20 metros with the highest percentage of foreclosures. Florida was home to eight, with the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metro area in Arizona also landing a spot on the list.

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Aklero Process Solutions Hires Chief Technology Officer

Aklero Process Solutions, Inc., a provider of data and document validity assurance for the mortgage industry, recently announced the hire of Joe Klimowicz as chief technology officer. Klimowicz will be responsible for driving the development of the company's technology solutions and delivering best-in-class services to customers.

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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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