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Case Shiller Index and Employment – Another Look

While the month-month Case Shiller Home Price Index shot up in May a record high increase (2.2 percent) in the 20-city index and a near-record (2.2 percent increase) in the narrower 10-city index it also suggested employment has less to do with the change in home prices than might otherwise have been thought.

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June Sees 60,000 Completed Foreclosures: CoreLogic

In June, 60,000 homes turned into completed foreclosures compared to 80,000 foreclosures a year ago, CoreLogic reported Tuesday. The analytics company stated the yearly drop puts completed foreclosures at 2007 levels. Month-over-month, there was no reported change in completed foreclosures for June. The number of homes in national foreclosure inventory in June stood at 1.4 million, or 3.4 percent of all homes with a mortgage.

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Case-Shiller Jumps a Record 2.2% in May

Home prices rose sharply in May cutting the year-year drop in prices to 0.7 percent from 1.8 percent in April, Standard & Poor's reported Tuesday in its Case-Shiller Home Price Index. Prices in the 20 cities surveyed rose 2.2 percent month-month. The 10-city index also improved 2.2 percent in May, shaving the year-year decline in prices to 1.0 percent in May from 2.2 percent in April. The month-month increase fell short of the 2.3 percent gain registered in June 2004. Economists had expected the 20-city index to grow 1.2 percent in May.

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Clinton’s Path to Industry’s Five Star Conference Runs Through Charlotte

Former President Bill Clinton will stop off at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Charlotte, North Carolina, before making his way to the Five Star Conference and Expo in Dallas, Texas, where he is scheduled to address the mortgage industry's largest gathering of default servicing professionals. Media outlets were abuzz Monday with news that Clinton is slated to give the official nomination speech naming President Barack Obama as his party's presidential candidate on Wednesday, September 5, just two days before his speech at the 2012 Five Star Conference.

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Study Captures Changing Attitudes Toward Strategic Default in Nevada

In hard-hit state Nevada, more than 60 percent of homeowners are underwater, and about one in 16 properties received a foreclosure notice in 2011, according to a 2012 Face of Foreclosure study released by the Nevada Association of REALTORS (NVAR). With negative equity and foreclosures seeming so commonplace in the state, the stigma of strategic default appears to be fading. ""This year's report shows it's more socially acceptable to strategically default on your mortgage,"" said NVAR President Blane Johnson. When surveyed on the topic, 51 percent of those who were foreclosed on said there is nothing wrong with strategic default as a financial decision while 36 percent said homeowners should not choose to strategically default.

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Lack of Inventory Blamed for June’s Dip in Pending Home Sales

In another sign the housing sector may be languishing again —the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) dipped 1.4 percent in June to 99.3 from a downwardly revised 100.7 in May, the National Association of Realtors reported Thursday. Economists had expected a 0.9 percent increase to 101.6. Prior to the recent drops, the PHSI had been rising steadily until April. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, blamed a lack of inventory for the drop in the index.

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Ten Best Metros to Buy Foreclosures: RealtyTrac

With foreclosure starts up in the second quarter of 2012, RealtyTrac listed the top 10 metros to buy or invest in foreclosures for the remainder of 2012. Overall, 132 out of 212 metropolitan areas with a population of 200,000 or more posted increases in foreclosure starts from the previous quarter, according to RealtyTrac. The bump in starts marks a 60 percent gain and means more foreclosure inventory for those markets. RealtyTrac's list includes metros where the average foreclosure sales price is increasing on an annual basis, average foreclosure sale discounts are still 15 percent or higher, and the unsold inventory of REOs represents a supply of 20 months or fewer.

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Barclays: Distressed Areas Leading Recovery

Data in Barclays' newest Securitization Products Weekly suggests that distressed markets are outperforming others in home appreciation and paving the way for a broad-based housing recovery. Barclays waved off concerns about shadow inventory, saying it is more of a symptom than a cause of depreciation and speculated that the share of distressed homes is a more significant factor keeping home prices down. An increased REO stock should actually be taken as a positive sign for non-distressed prices, Barclays said.

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Short Sale Bill Addresses Slow Approval from 2nd Lien Holders

Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Stockton) recently introduced a bill to speed up the short sale process by requiring subordinate mortgage lien holders to make a decision on a short sale within 45 days. McNerney's bill proposes that if the lender does not make a decision within the given time period, the short sale will be approved on the 46th day. The bill, titled Fast Help For Homeowners (FHFH) Act, received strong support from the ""National Association of Realtors.

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Q&A with RealtyTrac VP Daren Blomquist on Short Sales

DS News recently caught up with RealtyTrac VP Daren Blomquist to talk to him about short sales. Although data shows the alternative to foreclosure is becoming more widely used, anecdotal evidence points to frustration and difficulty when pursuing a short sale. So, we decided to have a conversation with Daren about the obstacles that get in the way of short sales, what can be done, and what the upcoming trends might be.

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