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Chase Hits Major Milestone in Home Donation Program

The dollar volume of homes donated or sold at a discount through JPMorgan Chase's Community Revitalization Program has crossed the $250 million mark. Initiated in 2009 as an effort to help customers and communities cope with the housing crisis, the program has seen more than 5,300 properties donated or sold to nonprofit housing organizations over the last few years.

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Survey: Hispanics View Homeownership Favorably

As the fastest-growing segment of the population, Hispanic Americans will play an important role in the future of the housing market. Since the recession, homeownership has declined faster among Hispanics than among the overall population, dropping from 64 percent in 2012 to 46 percent today. Despite the decline, Hispanics are even more likely to view homeownership favorably than the general population, Fannie Mae reports.

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Creative Buyers, Brokers Keep Sales Humming Despite Lack of Listings

Many in the real estate industry believe there is a listing shortage, but a close look at the numbers suggests buyers in most markets are purchasing homes in increasingly larger volumes--even if some of those sales involve off-market homes not yet listed. Buyers and their real estate brokers are getting creative in buying off-market inventory in a number of ways.

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Fed Report Shows ‘Cautious Optimism’ for National Economy

Even with concerns elevated over the government shutdown, sentiment among contacts of the Federal Reserve Districts remained ""cautiously optimistic"" about the nation's economic future, according to the Fed's Beige Book released this week. Reports on regional housing activity were generally positive, with most markets growing or at least not faltering. The Philadelphia District was the one exception.

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High-End Home Flipping on the Rise

Real estate investors made an average gross profit of $54,927 on single-family home flips in the third quarter, RealtyTrac reported Thursday. The tracking company's data indicates investors' Q3 profit was up 12 percent from the average gross return a year earlier, driven in part by an increase in high-end flips of homes that were sold for $750,000 or more and concentrated in California and New York.

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Foreclosures Lowest Since Q2 2007 as Starts Plummet to 7-Year Low

There were a total of 376,931 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings in the third quarter of 2013, RealtyTrac reported Thursday. The Q3 figure represents a 7 percent decline from the previous quarter and a 29 percent decline from the third quarter of 2012. By RealtyTrac's calculations, one in every 348 U.S. housing units had a foreclosure filing last quarter, which puts Q3 foreclosure activity at its lowest level since the second quarter of 2007.

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Shadow Inventory Falls to Lowest Level Since August 2008

Overall residential shadow inventory, as of July 2013, was 1.9 million homes, according to CoreLogic. That's the lowest shadow inventory tally reported since August 2008. The industry's current shadow inventory carries a value of $293 billion, down from $380 billion in July 2012. It represents 3.7 months' of supply and accounts for 85 percent of the 2.2 million properties that were seriously delinquent, in foreclosure, or bank-owned at July month-end.

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As Refi Activity Fades, LPS Predicts Rise in Home Equity Loans

The number of homeowners eligible for refinancing has shrunk from about 10 million in December 2012 to about 5.7 million as of August, according to Lender Processing Services' (LPS) latest Mortgage Monitor report. LPS cites heightened refinance activity over the past few years and rising interest rates as reasons for the decline and sees a market ripe for home equity lines of credit as a result of rising prices.

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Weak Third Quarter Expected for Mortgage Banks

Investment bank FBR Capital Markets released its preview of third-quarter earnings for major U.S. banks Monday, with a cloudy outlook for mortgage banking. In general, bank stocks have underperformed the broader market by about 2 percent over the third quarter; and zeroing in on the mortgage market, FBR is not optimistic about Q3 results.

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