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Radar Logic: Best Markets for Single-Family Rental Investors

As the rise in single-family rents slows and operating costs increase, Radar Logic stressed the need for institutional investors to focus on properties sold at steep discounts in order to yield a profit from rentals. While institutional investors tend to pay less for single-family homes compared to individual homebuyers since they buy in bulk, the discounts offered for properties vary widely, depending on the market, Radar Logic explained. In order to pinpoint markets where investors are finding the biggest discounts, Radar Logic tracked prices paid by large-scale investors in some 300 metro areas.

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Investors, Inventory Shortage Catalysts to Housing Rebound: Report

Demand for distressed properties from investors is contributing to the recovery, not creating an artificial one, according to Pro Teck's Home Value Forecast for April. One of the catalysts driving the housing market rebound has been large investment funds, which are buying distressed single-family homes to be used as rentals. ""These funds have also been renovating homes, which has helped to improve the overall conditions of the surrounding neighborhoods and provided a positive injection of capital,"" said Tom O'Grady, CEO of Pro Teck.

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Equifax: Home Finance Write-Offs Down to 5-Year Low

Home finance balances written off in the first quarter fell to a five-year low, according to Equifax's National Consumer Credit Trends report for March. The balance for home finance write-offs, which includes loans that completed the foreclosure process, transitioned into REO status, entered bankruptcy, or were charged off by the lender, decreased to $43.1 billion in the first quarter of this year. The balance represents a 22 percent decline from $55.4 billion in Q1 2012.

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Impact of the California Homeowner Bill of Rights on Foreclosures

The California Homeowner Bill of Rights (HBR) is the main driving force behind the recent slowdown in foreclosure sales and short sales in the Golden State, according to a research report from Barclays. In addition to stalling the foreclosure process, provisions in the new bill, which took effect January 1, 2013, have also led to an increase in litigation risk for servicers, analyst at Barclays found. As a result of the HBR, Barclays believes ""servicers have become significantly more cautious when carrying out foreclosure sales"" in the state.

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Foreclosure Timelines Are Lengthening

Foreclosure timelines are getting longer, according to recent reports from Moody's Investors Service and RealtyTrac. In addition to this trend, Moody's highlighted the importance of net present value (NPV) models in the loss mitigation process for residential mortgage-backed securities. Foreclosure timelines increased for all servicers in the fourth quarter, Moody's reported. RealtyTrac also found the average time to foreclose went up in 39 states in the first quarter of this year compared to the previous quarter.

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RealtyTrac: Foreclosure Activity Falls to Lowest Level Since 2007

Despite a monthly uptick in foreclosure starts, first quarter foreclosure activity fell to a six-year low, according to RealtyTrac's foreclosure market report for the first quarter and March. Data from RealtyTrac showed 442,117 properties received some type of foreclosure filing in Q1. The figure represents the lowest level since Q2 2007 and a quarterly and yearly decrease of 12 percent and 23 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, foreclosure starts, which numbered 73,113 in March, moved higher for the second straight month and posted a 2 percent increase from February.

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Clunk, Hoose and Associates Expands with New Florida Office

The Law Offices of Clunk, Hoose and Associates, PA announced the opening of a new full-service office in Hollywood, Florida. Firm partners John D. Clunk and Robert R. Hoose, along with attorney Shan P. Massand, will lead the new practice, which aims to bring cost-effective default management services to lenders and servicers in the South Florida market.

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Field Asset Services Introduces Flexible Mobile Survey

Field Asset Services (FAS), a provider of pre-foreclosure, REO, and renovation field services to mortgage servicers and investors, announced the release of Flexible Mobile Survey, an add-on to the company's FAStrack Mobile platform. Flexible Mobile Survey assists field asset vendors by delivering a customized work order in the form of a survey directly to their smart phone.

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RealtyTrac: Top Markets for Single-Family Rentals

With institutional investors playing a major role in the home-buying market as they snagged tens of thousands of homes in 2012, RealtyTrac set to work to determine which markets still offer the best opportunities for investors intending to purchase single-family homes to rent. Topping the list of top 20 markets were Memphis, Tennessee; Saginaw, Michigan; Toledo, Ohio; Ocala, Florida; and Las Vegas, Nevada. In Memphis, Tennessee, the median sales price for a three-bedroom home is $72,605, and investors can expect a cash purchase capitalization rate of 10.38 percent.

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Activity from First-Time Homebuyers Increases in February

Interest from first-time homebuyers is steadily growing due to concerns over rising interest rates and prices, while investor interest remains strong, according to results from the Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey. The survey found first-time homebuyers accounted for 34.5 percent of home purchase transactions in February, leading to the second monthly increase. Meanwhile, investor purchases reached a four-month high after accounting for 34.5 percent of transactions in February, according to the survey results.

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