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Report: FHA’s REO Disposition Strategy Weak Compared to GSEs

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) needs to work on improving its REO disposition strategy so it can bring in higher returns when properties go to sale, according to a recent report from the GAO. In fact, when compared to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the congressional watchdog found FHA disposes its REOs at a much slower pace and sees smaller returns. After examining foreclosure timelines, the GAO revealed the FHA takes about 340 days to dispose of its REOs after foreclosure, which is more than 60 percent longer than the GSEs average of 200 days.

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New Delinquency Roll Rates Continue to Improve

The rate of performing borrowers who rolled into delinquency status decreased in the second quarter, Fitch Ratings reported Monday. New delinquency roll rates showed stronger performance across all categories (subprime, Alta-A, and prime), with non-agency roll rates hitting their lowest level since early 2007. Overall, Fitch's delinquency roll rate index fell to 2 percent in the second quarter of this year, down from 2.4 percent in the previous quarter and down from 2.2 percent a year ago.

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Home Price Boost Sends Sales Down in June

Existing-home sales fell 1.2 percent in June to an annual sales rate of 5.08 million as the price of a single-family home rose 13.5 percent from a year earlier--the strongest year-over-year gain since November 2005, the National Association of Realtors reported Monday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected existing-home sales to jump to 5.27 million from May's originally reported sales pace of 5.18 million. The median price of an existing home rose $11,100 or 5.5 percent for the month to $214,200, the highest price since June 2008.

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Report: Traditional Buyers Need to Fill the Widening Cash Buyer Void

If it wasn't for cash sales during the housing downturn, sales today would look much weaker, and the dramatic price declines over the past few years would have been even steeper, CoreLogic reported Tuesday. From 2000 to 2005, cash sales remained steady, representing around 25 percent of all sales. When the real estate market crashed in 2007 and 2008, the share of cash sales, driven by the rise in REO sales, jumped and eventually peaked above 40 percent two years ago. For 19 straight months now, cash sales have been declining.

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Fitch: Sale of REO Assets Lowers CMBS Delinquency Rate in June

In June, an increase in the sale of REO properties drove down the CMBS delinquency rate, bringing it to a three-year low, Fitch Ratings reported. At 7.18 percent, the CMBS delinquency rate fell 19 basis points (bps) from the month before in May and is at its lowest level since March 2010. ""The CMBS delinquency rate is likely to improve further in the coming months as other large REO properties are sold, including a slew from ORIX's portfolio,"" said Scott Pritchard, director at Fitch.

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Foreclosure Filings Hit Six-and-a-Half-Year Low in June

Foreclosure activity was sluggish in June, dipping 14 percent from May and falling 35 percent from a year ago, according to RealtyTrac's most recent foreclosure report. With 127,790 properties receiving a foreclosure filing in June, RealtyTrac also revealed foreclosure activity is down to the lowest level since December 2006. Foreclosure starts also experienced a dramatic fall, decreasing 45 percent year-over-year in June to the lowest level since December 2005. While foreclosure activity dropped, foreclosure auctions in judicial states jumped 34 percent compared to a year ago.

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Report: Shadow Inventory Falls 34% from 2010 Peak

Fewer than 2 million homes remain in shadow inventory as of April, CoreLogic reported Tuesday. This puts shadow inventory at a supply of 5.3 months and represents an 18 percent year-over-year decrease. The data provider also reported shadow inventory is 34 percent lower than the 2010 peak of 3 million. Currently, serious delinquencies make up the bulk of shadow inventory. Out of the total for shadow inventory, about 890,000 are serious delinquencies.

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Job Openings Edge Up in May, Hiring Strong

The number of job openings edged up in May, increasing for the for the first time since February as hirings continued to improve, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Tuesday in its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). According to the JOLTS, report, the number of persons unemployed for each job opening in May remained at April's level of 3.07 but was down from 3.09 in February.

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Report: Recent Price Gains Bound to Slow

Low inventories driven by reluctant sellers, high levels of underwater homeowners, and meager rates of new construction have all played a role in driving home prices upward of late, Radar Logic explains in its RPX Monthly Housing Market Report for April. As of April 2013, the analytics firm's 25-metropolitan-area composite averaged $205.46 per square foot, up 13.1 percent year-over-year and up 2.7 percent month-over-month. This translates into a gain of 23.7 percent from the January 2012 low of $169.62. Prices though are still 26.2 percent below the June 2007 peak.

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First-Time Jobless Claims Continue Downward Trend

First-time claims for unemployment insurance fell for the fourth time in the last five weeks, dropping 5,000 to 343,000 for week ending June 29, the Labor Department reported Wednesday. Economists expected 345,000 claims. Claims filings for the week ending June 22 were revised up to 348,000 from the originally reported 346,000.

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