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Survey Uncovers Patterns and Trends Among Homebuyers

The National Association of Realtors recently released the results of a national survey conducted in July 2013 among homebuyers who had made their purchase within the previous year. The data collected brings fresh insights into all phases of the homebuying process and helps recognize emerging trends to help real estate professionals understand the needs and expectations of their clients. What did the study uncover?

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Commentary: Looking Forward

In a commentary shared with DSNews.com, Peter Muoio, chief economist for Auction.com Research, revealed the company's predictions for 2014. Muoio says the housing recovery will get its second wind next year, the Federal Reserve's tapering of stimulus measures will extend for a longer period that most analysts are expecting, REO-to-rental will cool off, and the Canadian housing bubble will come closer to bursting.

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Sales of Existing Homes Decline Annually for First Time in 29 Months

Existing-home sales dipped on both a monthly and annual basis in November, marking the first year-over-year decline in sales in nearly two and a half years. Hurt by higher mortgage interest rates, constrained inventory, and tight credit, sales of previously owned homes came in at an annualized rate of 4.90 million last month, the National Association of Realtors reported.

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Lerner, Sampson & Rothfuss President Receives USFN Founder’s Award

Richard M. Rothfuss, president of Lerner, Sampson & Rothfuss, recently received the USFN Founder's Award for his service and dedication to the USFN-- America's Mortgage Banking Attorneys. The award recipient must have demonstrated a deep and abiding commitment to USFN and epitomize the character and ideals of the founders of attorney association.

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Los Angeles Sues Nation’s Largest Banks

The city of Los Angeles has launched a series of lawsuits against three of the nation's largest banks alleging they persisted in discriminatory lending practices that contributed to more than 200,000 foreclosures between 2008 and 2012 that cost the city more than $1.2 billion. The lawsuits charge all three banks with redlining and reverse redlining; the banks, however, deny the allegations.

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Over 75 HUD Homes Hit the Auction Block This Weekend in Seattle

The real estate auction house Hudson & Marshall is putting more than 75 HUD-owned homes in the Seattle, and Tacoma, Washington area up for sale this weekend. The auction will be held at the Seattle Airport Marriott on Saturday, December 14 at 1:00 p.m. (PST). Hudson & Marshall is also offering live simulcast online bidding during the auction through its H&MLive! Web portal.

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DataQuick Enhances Standard Recorder Layout with Expanded Data

DataQuick, a real estate information solutions firm headquartered in San Diego, announced it has expanded its Standard Recorder layout to provide a more comprehensive view of properties and transactions. The expanded layout allows for the creation of a custom bundle devoted to key loan transaction intelligence, including data on 12 million loan modifications, loan terms on four million mortgages, interest rates on 600,000 loans, and details on 525,000 reverse mortgages.

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Markets Approach Normalcy as Foreclosure Crisis Enters ‘Ninth Inning’

The national foreclosure crisis is reaching its end as many markets work their way toward normalcy, according to the latest U.S. Foreclosure Market Report from RealtyTrac. As major evidence of this trend, RealtyTrac reports foreclosure starts reached a 95-month low in November. At the same time, overall foreclosure activity across the nation declined by 15 percent from October to November, while year-over-year, activity was down 37 percent.

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Title Insurance Premiums Rise 14% in Third Quarter

Title insurance premium volume rose 14 percent during the third quarter of 2013 when compared to the same period a year ago, according to the American Land Title Association (ALTA). Based on the national trade group's market share analysis for Q3, the title insurance industry generated $3.4 billion in premiums over the July-to-September period, compared to $3.0 billion in the third quarter of 2012.

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FHA to Bring Down Loan Limits for 2014

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is lowering loan limits on single-family mortgages next year, HUD announced. The federal agency's maximum ceiling for single-family loans will drop from $729,750 to $625,000. HUD estimates about 650 counties will see lower thresholds in 2014. Exceptions have been extended to counties in Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the Virgin Islands to account for greater construction costs.

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