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Firm Says National Home Price Gains Are Unsustainable

While some read recent home price gains as a sign of an improving market, Radar Logic warns the recent gains are ""unsustainable"" and may actually be dampening market recovery. Radar Logic attributes recent house price gains to anomalous factors it considers temporary, including low interest rates and elevated investor demand. ""None of these drivers are likely to last, particularly as housing prices increase,"" RadarLogic stated in its December RPX Monthly Housing Market Report.

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Foreclosure Inventory Shrinks 21% from Year Ago

While still at an elevated level, foreclosure inventory is fading and has fallen for 15 straight months as of January 2013, CoreLogic reported Thursday. According to the data provider's foreclosure inventory report, the number of homes in some stage of the foreclosure process is now down to 1.2 million as of January. Year-over-year, foreclosure inventory has fallen 21 percent from 1.5 million. The number of homes lost to the foreclosure process also declined from a year ago, but increased on a monthly basis.

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RealtyTrac: Distressed Sales Make Up 43% of Home Sales in 2012

Foreclosure-related are on the decline but distressed sales continue to claim a disproportionately high portion of total home sales across the country, according to RealtyTrac's most recent foreclosure and short sales report. The firm also found increases in prices for distressed properties in 2012. Distressed property sales made up 43 percent of all home sales nationwide in 2012, according to RealtyTrac. Foreclosure-related sales made up 21 percent of all sales, while non-foreclosure short sales made up 22 percent of sales.

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ServiceLink Partners with Home CORE to Promote Homeownership

ServiceLink partnered with Home CORE, a national network of nonprofit service organizations committed to providing homeownership opportunities to low-to-moderate income families. Through the partnership, ServiceLink will help Home CORE reach its objective of increasing affordable homeownership opportunities by managing all of the activities needed to transition properties into move-in condition.

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Survey: Price Gap for Damaged REOs, Non-Distressed Homes Widens

The price gap between non-distressed properties and damaged REOs is widening, according to results from the January Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking survey. According to the survey, while non-distressed property prices have risen to their highest level in three years, damaged REOs, or bank-owned properties in need of repair, fell in January. The survey also found that while the investor share of purchases for damaged REOs has increased, interest for properties in that category has waned among current and first-time homebuyers.

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Case-Shiller Indices Show Fastest Gain in 6 Years

Home prices rose at their fastest pace since July 2006, according to the Case Shiller 10- and 20-city Home Price Indices, Standard & Poor's reported Tuesday. At the same the Case Shiller national index, reported quarterly, registered its strongest gain since Q2 2006. The 10- and 20-city indices each rose 0.2 percent in December, reversing declines in November. Year-over-year, the 10-city index was up 5.9 percent, and the 20-city index rose 6.8 percent. The national index was up 7.3 percent year-over-year.

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Lack of Inventory, Not Shadow Inventory, Is the Real Concern

DS News took some time to chat with Daren Blomquist, VP of RealtyTrac, to get a reading on the current state of the foreclosure market and what is expected to come. Although foreclosures served to strip homes of their value during the housing crisis, Blomquist says foreclosures will be seen as a welcome sign this year and act as a stimulus. While this may seem counterintuitive, Blomquist said, ""because of the severe lack of inventory available for sale, foreclosures could actually fill that inventory and provide more fuel to the fire that's been slowly building over the past year as more sales occur.""

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Existing-Home Sales Inch Up; Inventory at Lowest Level Since 1999

Existing-home sales rose 0.4 percent in January to 4.92 million after December sales were revised downward, the National Association of Realtors reported. The median price of an existing single-family home fell to $173,600 in January, the lowest level since last March. The inventory of existing homes for sale fell 4.9 percent to 1.74 million, the lowest level since December 1999. At the reported sales pace, that represents a 4.2 month supply of homes for sale, the lowest supply since April 2005.

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FNC: Foreclosure Market Stabilizing as Home Values Rise

With the ongoing housing recovery, the foreclosure market is also stabilizing and foreclosure prices are bottoming out, according to a report from, according to a report from FNC. Foreclosure price discounts are now at pre-housing crisis levels, averaging 12.2 percent in Q4 2012. In 2004, foreclosure discounts hovered near the same levels, averaging around 12 percent. At the peak of the crisis, discounts for foreclosed homes averaged 25 percent, data from FNC revealed.

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Redfin: New Short Sale Listings Down 54% from 2012

In a blog post Friday, Redfin revealed new conventional listings have actually gone up 2 percent compared to last year, while listings for distressed properties have been reduced in half. Redfin conducted an analysis of new property listings in the first five weeks of 2013 (January 1 to February 11) compared to the same period in 2012. The Seattle-based brokerage found short sale listings decreased 54 percent from 2012, while REO listings are down by 46 percent. Overall, new listings declined 18 percent from 2012.

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