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Slow Quarter Ahead Judging from Pending Home Sales

September's pending home sales point to a slow quarter during the final three months of the year. The National Association of Realtors says the numbers show buyers are struggling with declining levels of housing affordability. The trade group's pending sales index is a forward-looking indicator that's based on contract signings, not closings, and it has now fallen for four straight months.

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Investors’ Home Purchases Total $1 Trillion Since 2011

Since 2011, investors have purchased more than 950,000 homes; and with 370,000 purchases so far this year, they have already surpassed the number of purchases they made in either of the past two years, according to a new report from RealtyTrac. In total, investors have spent $1 trillion acquiring single-family residences since 2011.

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Housing Trends Settle for Cold Months, Inventory Decline Slows

According to RE/MAX's National Housing Report for September, closed transactions fell 18.5 percent month-over-month, in line with the typical trend as summer passes into autumn. Year-over-year, however sales increased 10.7 percent, making September the 27th consecutive month in which sales rose on an annual basis. The company also reported a slowdown in the rate of inventory decline.

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Home Value Appreciation Set to Ease Over the Next Year

The recent fast-paced home price appreciation across the country led some markets to the brink of a bubble, but deceleration over the summer months has Zillow analysts breathing a sigh of relief as the bubble threat deflates. Home value appreciation has declined steadily for three months, according to Zillow, and half of the nation's 20 largest metros experienced negative appreciation in September.

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Number of U.S. Mortgages Going Unpaid = 4,594,000

Lender Processing Services provided the media with a first look at the company's mortgage performance statistics for the month of September. The industry's foreclosure inventory continued its downward trend, and while delinquencies were up slightly from the previous month, they were down when comparing the numbers year-over-year. All-in-all, there are 4,594,000 mortgages going unpaid in the United States.

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Housing Market Performs Well Despite Rise in Interest Rates

Mortgage rates are inching higher and higher, but the market does not seem to be paying any heed as it continues to show signs of improvement, according to the HousingPulse Tracking Survey released this week. It indicates the emerging slowdown in home purchases appears to be largely seasonal with a number of key indicators--distressed sales, time on market, and purchase offers--still in positive territory.

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FBR Expects $1.6B in Mortgage Volume for 2013

With third-quarter numbers from most of the industry's heavy-hitters in, analysts with FBR Capital Markets say their forecasts--$1.6 billion in mortgage volume for 2013 followed by $1.4 billion in 2014--are still well within reach, even though they argue that declining interest rates and lower overall loan volume translated to disappointing mortgage numbers last quarter.

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Existing-Home Sales Slip with Affordability

Existing-home sales slipped in September after reportedly reaching their highest level in nearly four years in August, according to the National Association of Realtors. Analysts attribute the drop to declining affordability resulting from limited inventory and rising home prices. Total existing-home sales fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.29 million last month. August's sales were revised downward to 5.39 million.

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