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Radar Logic Questions Recovery’s Sustainability

Despite reports of improvements in home prices and sales, Radar Logic argued that upon closer examination, the housing market is not doing as well as assumed. As of September 25, 2012, Radar Logic's RPX composite price increased 5.2 percent year-over-year across 25 metro areas, according to the company's monthly housing report. However, the increase in prices tracked by Radar Logic is not a result of ""significant appreciation in household-owned homes,"" the report stated. Instead, it is due to a decline in ""motivated sales,"" or sales of foreclosed homes and REOs.

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Yearly Price Gains Continue into Offseason for Homebuying

Compared to 2011, home prices continued to show strong gains in October and posted their biggest yearly increase since June 2006, according to data from CoreLogic. Home prices--including distressed sale--climbed 6.3 percent higher year-over-year in October, marking the eighth consecutive month of yearly gains. With the conclusion of the home-buying season, home prices dropped by 0.2 percent from September to October. According to the data provider's pending home price index, prices should further increase yearly by 7.1 percent in November.

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REO Sales Diminish to Under 20% of Overall Home Sales: Clear Capital

Clear Capital released a new market report Tuesday, tracking home prices through the end of November. Nationally, quarterly price gains were cut by more than half compared to readings from the month before. For November, home prices edged up just 1 percent. Even with fewer fair market sellers listing their homes, Clear Capital says REO sales held steady at 18.4 percent of total sales--a level that will put minimial pressure on home prices should it hold through the winter months.

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CoreLogic: 58,000 Homes Lost to Foreclosure in October

There were 58,000 foreclosures completed in the United States during the month of October, CoreLogic reported Monday with the release of its latest National Foreclosure Report. October's tally was down 17 percent from last year when 70,000 foreclosures were completed during the month. On a month-over-month basis, completed foreclosures fell 25 percent after September's count was revised upward from the previously reported 57,000 to 77,000. CoreLogic says the larger-than-usual revision was due to an annual online auction of delinquent tax properties in Wayne County, Michigan, that weren't included in the earlier assessment.

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Housing Recovery Is Sustainable, According to Market Analysts

Despite a number of potentially damaging headwinds, the ongoing housing recovery will remain sustainable for the foreseeable future, analysts for Capital Economics say in a recently released report. The housing industry's rapid rebound took many experts by surprise--even the researchers who authored the report admit they ""have been slightly taken aback"" by the recovery's speed. However, they point to several major indicators that show the current upturn is more than a temporary blip or a false recovery.

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Pending Home Sales at Highest Level Since March 2007

The number of homebuyers committing to sales contracts soared last month. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) says its Pending Home Sales Index for October skyrocketed to hit its highest mark in more than five years. The index jumped 5.2 percent from September to October to a reading of 104.8, its highest point since March 2007. Economists had expected a smaller increase to 100.5. Compared to October 2011, the index was up 13.2 percent, making it the 18th straight month of year-over-year gains.

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Initial Unemployment Claims Fall as Sandy’s Impact Dissipates

First time claims for unemployment insurance fell 23,000 to 393,000 for the week ended November 224, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The previous week’s report was revised upward to 416,000 from the originally reported 410,000. Continuing claims--reported on a one-week lag--fell 70,000 to 3,287,000.

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Lack of Distressed Properties Locks Out First-Time Homebuyers

The share of distressed properties is shrinking and home prices are rising, but first-time homebuyers aren't benefiting from the improvements, according to findings from a survey. In the most recent Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulseTracking survey, the first-time homebuyer share for home purchases was found to be 34.7 percent in October. The figure is a decrease from 37.1 percent in June and the lowest share in the survey's three-year history. The decrease coincides with a significant rise in purchases for non-distressed properties.

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