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Institutional Investor Trends in Atlanta and Their Impact on Housing

In a recent report, Radar Logic closely examined purchase trends and patterns from institutional investors in the Atlanta area. Among its findings, the research firm found investors have been targeting a different cross-section of homes compared to traditional buyers. According to the report, institutional investors are more likely to purchase homes that are cheaper, smaller, and located in lower-income areas compared to homes bought by non-investor buyers.

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Case-Shiller Indices Show Midwest Price Weakness

Despite weakness in the Midwest, home prices posted their strongest year-over-year gain in almost seven years in February, according to the Case-Shiller 10- and 20-city Home Price Indices released Tuesday. Home prices rose year-over-year in all 20 of the cities in the Case-Shiller survey. Month-over-month, the 10-city index improved 0.4 percent in February, while the 20-city index was up 0.3 percent. On a yearly basis, the 10-city index was up 8.6 percent, and the 20-city index rose 9.3 percent.

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LPS: California, Washington Lead Monthly Price Gains in February

After tracking transactions in February, Lender Process Services, Inc. (LPS) found home prices rose 1 percent month-over-month, with California and Washington leading the gains. In dollar terms, LPS' Home Price Index (HPI) for non-distressed sales stood at $210,000, up 7.3 percent from February 2012. LPS data also showed short sales, which accounted for 12 percent of February sales, were sold at a 25 percent discount compared to non-distressed sales. Meanwhile, REOs accounted for 10.5 percent of sales and were discounted by 27 percent compared to non-distressed properties.

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Pending Home Sales Index Up For March

The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) rose 1.5 percent to 105.7 in March, the highest level in almost three years, the National Association of Realtors reported Monday. Economists had expected a 0.7 percent increase to 105.5 from February's originally reported 104.8. The February index reading was revised to 104.1. With the month-over-month improvement, the PHSI is 7.0 percent above March 2012, slightly below the 7.7 percent year-over-year gain in February. The index registered double-digit percent gains from April through October last year so the dip--on the eve of the homebuying season--is less than encouraging.

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Slow Wage Growth Holds Down March Personal Income

Restrained by slow wage growth, personal income rose a disappointing $30.9 billion (0.2 percent) in March--half of what economists expected--as spending rose $21.0 billion or 0.2 percent, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, reported Monday. Personal income had improved $15.2 billion in February, largely on the strength of an $80 billion increase in dividend payments. Dividend payments in March increased by $4.5 billion over February.

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CoreLogic Acquires Case-Shiller

CoreLogic, a leading residential property information, analytics, and services provider headquartered in California, announced its acquisition of Case-Shiller from Fiserv, Inc. The acquisition closed March 20.

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Is the Single-Family Rental Market Set for Decline?

Over the past couple years, rentals of single-family homes have served as a growing segment of the housing market. However, lately limited supply and rising home prices are leading to rising rents, thus slowing growth in this market, according to a report from CoreLogic. Having been on the decline since 2009, single-family rental properties now have about a 2.9-month supply available on the market. For comparison, anything below six months supply in the purchase market is considered low. The result of tight supply, naturally, is rising prices.

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DataQuick’s REO-to-Rental Rankings Provide ZIP-Level Data

Before deciding on an REO-to-rental investment, it's important to understand distressed property trends on a neighborhood-level, according to DataQuick. This is why the San-Diego-based company has made available the REO-to-Rental Neighborhood Rankings for servicers and investors.

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NAR: Prices Up, Existing-Home Sales Down in March

With a sharp jump in prices, existing-home sales fell 0.6 percent in March--the steepest drop since December--to 4.92 million units, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Monday. Economists had expected a 1.0 percent increase to 5.03 million from February's original report of 4.98 million sales. The median price of an existing single-family home jumped to $184,300, the highest level in seven months. The inventory of homes for sale edged up to 1.93 million units--a 4.7 month supply, both the highest level since November.

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