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Pre-Foreclosure Prices Hit New Low; Most Discounted States: RealtyTrac

For pre-foreclosure homes, which are residential properties in default or scheduled for auction, sales were at their highest quarterly level since the first quarter of 2009, according to RealtyTrac's foreclosure sales report. Pre-foreclosure sales, which are typically sold through the short sale process, accounted for 12 percent of all sales during the first quarter. Pre-foreclosure homes sold for an average price of $175,461 in the first quarter, a 10 percent decrease from a year ago. The average pre-foreclosure sales price was the lowest in the history of RealtyTrac's foreclosure sales report, which began in the first quarter of 2005.

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Completed Foreclosures Drop to 66,000 in April: CoreLogic

In April, the number of completed foreclosures was 66,000, down 15 percent compared to the same month a year ago when there were 78,000 completed foreclosures. Month-over-month, the number of completed foreclosures remained unchanged. The number of homes in foreclosure inventory as of April 2012 shrank slightly from 1.5 million homes a year ago to 1.4 million. Among the five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures - California, Florida, Michigan, Texas, and Georgia - only Florida is a judicial state. These states alone account for 48.8 percent of all completed foreclosures nationally.

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Pending Home Sales Index Slips Badly in April

The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) gave back its entire March increase in April, falling to 95.5 from 101.1 one month earlier, the National Association of Realtors reported Wednesday. The March index was revised downward from the originally reported 101.4 adding to the gloomy report. Economist had expected the index to increase 0.5 percent from March.Even with the decline though, the index is up 14.4 percent since April 2011, but is now at its lowest level since December, dampening expectations at the onset of the home-buying season.

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Homeward Residential Launches New Brand and Services

In order to better reflect its offerings, Homeward Residential, Inc., a full-service mortgage banking organization, announced Tuesday the official launch of its new brand name and identity in support of its business diversification strategy. Formerly known as American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc.

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Bay State Foreclosure Levels Higher than Previous Year

With foreclosure petitions in Massachusetts the highest in nearly two years, foreclosure activity for the Bay State remained at levels drastically higher than recorded in 2011, according to a report released Tuesday by The Warren Group, a Boston-based real estate data provider.

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Online Real Estate Firms Partner to Launch Realtor.com VOD Channel

Move, Inc., operator of online real estate Web site Real.com, and RealBizMedia, a media content provider for the real estate industry, announced a partnership to launch the Realtor.com TV Channel which will provide millions of home listings to approximately 55 million U.S homes. Launching the second half of 2012, the channel will begin airing on the Cox cable network as Video on Demand (VOD). By doing so, Realtor.com will reach potential homeowners on three platforms: computer, mobile, and television.

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Case Shiller Indexes in Slower Drop, Composites Hit New Lows

The Case Shiller Home Price Indexes fell for the seventh straight month in March. The drop in the broader 20-city index was barely noticeable - down to 134.10 from 134.14 in February - while the 10-city index fell to 146.61 from 146.74. Year-over-year, the 10-city index was down 2.8 percent and the 20-city index off 2.6 percent, improving from February. The national Case Shiller Index, reported quarterly, was down 2.0 percent in the first quarter and down 1.9 percent from the first quarter of 2011. All three composites posted the lowest levels since mid-2006 when the housing crises began.

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White Paper Argues for AMCs to Pay Appraisers Full Fees

Competition can lead to low prices, but sometimes when prices get too low, someone ends up paying. This is an issue the appraisal industry is facing, where appraisal management companies (AMCs) compete for clients by lowering the cost of appraisals, leading to less compensation for the appraisers. In a white paper, Jeff Schurman, executive director of Leading Causes and Rick Grant, president and CEO of RGA Public Relations, listed and explained 20 benefits for AMCs if they pay appraisers full fees.

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Top 10 Places to Buy Foreclosures, According to RealtyTrac

In its May foreclosure newsletter, RealtyTrac named the top 10 places to buy foreclosures in 2012. The selected locations were out of the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas based on population. The list was further narrowed down according markets with at least 200 foreclosure-related sales transactions in January 2012. Then, it was whittled down again to only include metros with foreclosure sales prices at least 30 percent below the average price of a non-foreclosure property.

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