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Mortgage Financing Increases While Distressed Sales Fall: Survey

The popularity of FHA mortgages is slowing down, while the use of mortgage financing is growing overall, according to the Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey. FHA-backed transactions accounted for 25.9 percent of home purchase transactions in August, a decrease from 27.3 percent in January. Overall, mortgages were used to finance 68.9 percent of home purchase transactions in August, an increase from 67.5 percent in July.

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Household Net Worth Falls in Q2: Fed Report

Despite a $355 billion increase in the value of household real estate, household net worth fell $322 billion in the second quarter, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday in its quarterly Flow of Funds report. And, while the value of owner-occupied household real estate increased in the second quarter, total residential mortgage debt fell almost $51 billion. As a result, owners' equity increased just over $406 billion and owners' equity as percentage of the value of the real estate rose to 43.1 percent, the highest level since Q2 2008, according to the report.

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Survey Finds Most Investors Will Increase or Maintain Activity

Foreclosure inventory is shrinking. Prices are rising. But, despite these changes in the investor landscape, it will be business as usual for real estate investors, according to a survey jointly released by BiggerPockets.com and Memphis Invest. The survey found that 65 percent of active real estate investors plan to buy as many or more residential properties in the next 12 months as they did in the past.

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First-Time Jobless Claims Dip, Remain Elevated

First-time claims for unemployment insurance fell 3,000 to 382,000 for the week ended September 15, the Labor Department reported Thursday, topping market expectations. The previous week's report was revised upward to 385,000 first time claims from the originally reported 382,000 which, the department said, included 9,000 claims attributable to hurricane Isaac.

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Reality TV’s Flip Men Offer Investment Tips During Webinar

RealtyTrac hosted a webinar Wednesday to get advice from two pros in the world of property flipping. Hosted by Daren Blomquist, VP of RealtyTrac, the webinar featured reality TV show stars Doug Clark and Mike Baird to learn about their experiences as property flippers and holders. In real estate, location is known to be everything, but Mike said in flipping, its ""price, price, and price.""

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Existing Home Sales at 27-Month High in August

Existing home sales rose 7.8 percent to 4.82 million in August the highest level since May 2010 the National Association of Realtors reported Wednesday. The median price of an existing single-family home in August was $187,400, down $400 from July but up $16,200 or 9.5 percent since August 2011.

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Why REO Discounts Vary So Greatly: FHFA

Calculations for REO discounts can differ on extreme levels. In a mortgage market note from FHFA, the agency explained common reasons behind the variations. FHFA stated there are at least six reasons to explain why REO discounts vary so greatly. The first three are the condition effect, characteristics effect, and market effect. Those explanations are directly related to the property value of houses.

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Improving the Appraisal Process to Minimize Risks: Report

Appraisals may assign a home with one exact specific value, but in reality, a home's value tends to fall into a price range due to a number of different factors, according to a Home Value Forecast report released by Pro Teck Valuation Services and Collateral Analytics. To address this issue, Home Value Forecast suggests establishing a range of value in addition to an appraisal and improving data to support market condition conclusions.

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Illinois Takes Lead for Foreclosure Rate, REOs Continue to Fall

A new state took the spotlight in RealtyTrac's Foreclosure Market Report for August. For the first time since January 2005, which is when RealtyTrac began the report, Illinois ranked number one for its foreclosure rate. Bank repossessed fewer properties in August, with REO activity declining 2 percent month-over-month and 19 percent year-over-year, marking the 22 month in a row of yearly declines.

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