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May Foreclosure Starts Nearly Triple Sales: LPS

In May, foreclosure starts outnumbered foreclosure sales by a near 3-1 ratio, according to report from Lender Processing Services (LPS). Even though foreclosure starts and sales saw similar monthly increases, the actual number of foreclosure starts was significantly higher, with starts numbering 202,707 while foreclosure sales totaled 73,439. Also, foreclosure inventory maintained historically high levels at 4.14 percent. LPS Applied Analytics SVP Herb Blecher said the situation is more nuanced when looking at the breakdown between states that apply judicial versus non-judicial foreclosure processes.

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Gains in Asking Prices Threatened by Foreclosures, Rent Up Again: Trulia

After falling flat in May, asking prices went up in June, and rent prices continued to see significant increases, according to Trulia reports released Tuesday. Asking prices on listed homes made a 0.3 percent month-over-month and year-over-year increase in June, according to Trulia's price monitor. Phoenix and two Florida metros posted double digit gains, but Trulia warned that some of the top performing metros are facing another wave of foreclosures.

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Initial Jobless Claims in Steepest Drop in 9 Weeks

First time claims for unemployment insurance fell a sharp 14,000 to 374,000 for the week ended June 30, the Labor Department the largest drop in nine weeks, reported Thursday. The prior week's total was revised up to 388,000 from the originally reported 386,000.

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Veros Forecasts Select Struggling Markets to Start Recovering

Certain regions that once dragged the housing market down are expected to start giving the industry a lift while national home values are expected to start leveling, according to forecasts from Veros Real Estate Solutions. The VeroFORECAST projects that in the 12-month period ending June 1, 2013, prices should improve from last quarter's 0.86 percent forecast depreciation to this period's 0.26 percent forecast depreciation. Phoenix is expected to appreciate the most at 6.4 percent. The Reno-Sparks region in Nevada is expected move in the opposite direction and depreciated by five percent.

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Winning Bidders Selected for REO-to-Rental Initiative

The winning bidders for the REO-to-rental pilot initiative have been selected and the deals are expected to close in the early third quarter, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced Tuesday. The pilot program was first launched in February in select markets where inventory is high and rentals are in demand. Investors interested in bidding for properties were asked to submit an application to qualify and were evaluated based on factors including financial ability, asset management experience, property management expertise, and familiarity with select locations. There were about 2,500 single-family Fannie Mae owned REOs up for sale through the program.

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Prices Up Again in May, Trend Will Continue into June: CoreLogic

For the third month in a row, home prices posted both yearly and monthly gains, according to CoreLogic's May Home Price Index (HPI) report. When including distressed sales, home prices increased 2 percent in May from a year ago and rose 1.8 percent month-over-month. When excluding distressed sales, prices made even greater strides, with the year-over-year increase at 2.7 percent and month-over-month increase at 2.3 percent. Distressed sales include short sales and REO transactions. When excluding distressed sales, prices made even greater strides and are expected to continue increasing into June.

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Foreclosures Remain High but Improving Yearly: CoreLogic

The number of completed foreclosures in May decreased yearly and increase slightly from the previous month, CoreLogic reported Friday. The number of completed foreclosures last month totaled 63,000 compared to 77,000 in May 2011 and 62,000 in April 2012. Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, 3.6 million homes have been lost to foreclosure. May also saw a yearly drop in the number of homes sitting in foreclosure inventory with about 1.4 million homes, or 3.4 percent, in foreclosure compared to 1.5 million, or 3.5 percent a year ago.

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GDP Growth at 1.9% in Q1 as Expected

The US economy grew at an annual rate of 1.9 percent in the first quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday in its third estimate of economic performance in the first quarter. The BEA report was consistent with market expectations but emphasized a moribund economy.

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