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Shrinking Rental Yields to Drive Out Investors, but Not This Year

Lower rental yields might cause investors to lose interest in the housing market, but according to Capital Economics, that scenario is unlikely to play out this year. Currently, the increase in home prices is outpacing the rise in rents, which ""is weighing on rental yields,"" the firm noted in a report authored by the property economist Paul Diggle. However, Capital Economics stated the reduction in rental yields is actually ""very gradual"" and the ""the total return from housing remains attractive."" Thus, investors, who analysts say are driving the recovery, are not expected to exit the market just yet.

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Top Mortgage and Housing Execs Engage to Promote Progress

Industry leaders gathered in Las Colinas, Texas, Thursday for the Five Star Institute's 2013 REO and Short Sale Executive Summit to discuss issues and market conditions impacting the distressed asset space. A number of the nation's leading financial institutions and government agencies were represented at the event designed to facilitate open dialogue and collaboration for developing solutions to today's most pressing REO and short sale challenges.

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Carrington, LendingXpress Partner to Deliver REO Asset Services

Carrington Property Services, LLC (Carrington) and LendingXpress, a platform from SWBC, formed an exclusive partnership to bring REO asset management services to smaller-scale financial institutions. As part of the agreement, LendingXpress will market Carrington's REO asset management solution to its customer base of credit unions and community banks.

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Delinquent Loans Rolling into Foreclosure Inventory after Settlement

Foreclosure inventory seems to be making a comeback after experiencing steady declines following the national mortgage settlement, RealtyTrac revealed in a report Thursday. In the first quarter of 2013, the number of properties that were in the foreclosure process or bank-owned rose 9 percent year-over-year to 1.5 million, according to data from the online foreclosure marketplace. The most recent figure represents a 12 percent increase from the five-year low seen in May 2012. The report also found 35 percent of the homes in the foreclosure process were abandoned by the homeowner.

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GSEs Complete 541K Foreclosure Prevention Actions in 2012

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue to administer foreclosure prevention efforts while experiencing declines in delinquencies, foreclosures, and REO inventories, according to a report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). The GSEs enacted 541,219 foreclosure prevention actions in 2012, contributing to a total of 2.7 million foreclosure prevention efforts since the enterprises came under government conservatorship in 2008, according to the report. Over the year, delinquencies also fell by a substantial 14 percent with the FHFA reporting declines in every state except New Jersey and New York.

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Institutional Investors Migrate in Second Half of 2012

Radar Logic reports a seasonal price dip in January but a 12.7 percent increase year-over-year. The firm continues to find heavy investor influence in many markets, though investor activity may be shifting somewhat into new markets. Radar Logic's RPX Composite Index, which measures prices in 25 metros, posted a 2 percent decline in January. Prices remain 31 percent below their June 2007 peak. Institutional investors are playing an active role in many markets but appear to be shifting out of some markets where they previously played a major role and into some smaller markets previously largely ignored by the group.

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Shadow Inventory Down to 2.2M Homes, Falls 28% from Peak

In January, the number of homes still hidden in the shadows fell to 2.2 million, a 28 percent decrease from the January 2010 peak when an estimated three million housing units were in shadow inventory, data from CoreLogic revealed. The 2.2 million units represent a supply of nine months and a year-over-year decline of 18 percent from January 2012, CoreLogic reported. Seriously delinquent loans were the main drivers of shadow inventory, accounting for one million of the distressed properties yet to be released.

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California Pending Sales Up Monthly; REO, Short Sales Decline

California saw a month-over-month increase in pending home sales in February, while distressed were down for both REOs and short sales, the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) reported. C.A.R.'s Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) was up 8.7 percent to 110.2 in February, up from a revised 101.4 in January. The index is based on signed contracts. Overall, distressed property sales accounted for 32.9 percent of sales in February, a decrease from 35.6 percent in January and a steep decline from 53.3 percent a year ago.

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Existing-Home Sales Up in February; Inventory Rises from Prior Month

Existing-home sales rose 0.8 percent in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.98 million, the National Association of Realtors reported Thursday. Economists had expected the sales pace to climb to 5.01 million from January's originally reported 4.92 million. January sales were revised up to 4.94 million. The inventory of homes for sale rose for the first time since last July, up 9.6 percent to 1,940,000. At the reported sales pace, that represents a 4.7-month supply of homes for sale, up from the 4.3-month supply reported for January.

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Average Months in Distress Extended in Judicial, Non-Judicial States

The time properties stay in distress before going to sale has increased nearly five fold since 2003 in non-judicial states, according to CoreLogic's March MarketPulse report. The data provider tracked months in distress from 2003 to 2012 and found the disposition timeline in both judicial and non-judicial states has seen a significant extension. In judicial states, the disposition timelines remained relatively constant at seven months but began to rise in mid-2008 before increasing to an average of 35 months. In non-judicial states, it takes about 24 months before a distressed property goes to sale.

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