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DS News Webcast: Thursday 5/29/2014

U.S. residential properties sold at an estimated annual pace of 5.2 million in April, according to RealtyTrac's April 2014 Residential & Foreclosure Sales Report. The median sales price of both distressed and non-distressed properties was $172,000 for the month, an increase of 4 percent from March. April's increase was the biggest year-over-year increase since U.S. median prices bottomed out in March 2012, according to RealtyTrac.

Short sales and foreclosures declined for the month, dropping to 15.6 percent of all sales in April, down from 16.5 percent of all sales in March. Short sales and distressed sales are down yearly from 17.2 percent in April 2013. The metro area with the highest share of combined short sales and distressed sales was Las Vegas, Nevada at 37.7 percent. Rounding out the top five metros are Stockton, California; Modesto, California; Lakeland, Florida; and Orlando, Florida.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency released its latest Refinance Report, which reported that approximately 77,000 refinances were completed through the Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, in the first quarter of 2014. 3.1 million refinances have been performed using HARP since the program's inception. The first quarter of 2014 marks the fourth straight quarter that total refinances and HARP refinances have declined. The report attributed the decline to March's rising interest rates.

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