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Home Prices Rose at Slower Pace in May

10.08.2015
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Home prices in 20 U.S. cities rose at a slower pace in the year ended May, keeping more properties within reach for prospective buyers.

The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values increased 4.9% from May 2014 after rising 5% in the year ended in April, the group said Tuesday in New York. The median projection of 28 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 5.6% year-over-year advance. Nationally, prices climbed 4.4%.

The slower pace of appreciation may give younger or first-time buyers an easier point of entry into the market, especially as wages have seen little growth for much of the economic expansion. It also gives Federal Reserve officials room to be patient as they consider raising interest rates, which hasn’t occurred since 2006.

“Nationally, single-family home-price increases have settled into a steady 4%-5% annual pace […]

B of A Foreclosure Fight Tied to Corruption Case

7.08.2015
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Utah’s attorney general revived a potential billion-dollar battle with Bank of America Corp. over foreclosure practices after two of his predecessors were charged with corruption for abandoning the fight.

The lawsuit is deja vu for U.S. District Judge Bruce Jenkins, who last week allowed Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes to join a homeowner’s case accusing Bank of America unit ReconTrust Co. of illegally foreclosing on Utahans’ homes.

Jenkins expressed puzzlement when outgoing Attorney General Mark Shurtleff bowed out of a similar case two years ago, just months after the judge ruled the suit could head to trial.

Last year, prosecutors provided an explanation: They charged Shurtleff and a deputy elected to succeed him, John Swallow, in a wide-ranging bribery case.

The allegations included charges that they did illicit favors for several businessmen. The two officials allegedly dropped the state’s case against ReconTrust after a […]

New Home Sales Unexpectedly Fall to Seven-Month Low

7.08.2015
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Purchases of new homes unexpectedly retreated in June and prior readings were revised down, painting a picture of less robust improvement during the industry’s busiest time of year.

Sales fell 6.8% to a 482,000 annualized pace, the weakest since November and lower than any forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg, Commerce Department figures showed Friday in Washington. Three of four regions suffered setbacks.

The report represents a departure from recent data that’s shown the housing industry was accelerating amid steady job growth and still-low mortgage rates. That may mean the residential real estate market is about to plateau as a tight supply of available homes and meager wage gains present hurdles to growth.

“The rapid rate of improvement that we’ve seen over the last few months won’t be sustainable indefinitely,” Thomas Simons, a money market economist at Jefferies LLC in New York, said […]

House Committee Passes Bills to Delay TRID Enforcement, Revise QM

6.08.2015
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The House Financial Services Committee approved a bill that would delay the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s enforcement of the new TILA-RESPA integrated disclosure rules. It also approved two additional bills addressing the qualified mortgage rule and GSE executive compensation.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. French Hill, R-Ark., would delay the CFPB’s ability to enforce violations of its new mortgage disclosure form if lenders have made a “good-faith effort” to comply. The measure passed the committee vote 45 to 13 on Wednesday.

The CFPB issued a rule in 2013 integrating requirements from the Truth in Lending and Real Estate Settlement Procedures acts into a single set of disclosures to mortgage borrowers, known as TRID. The rule was meant to go into effect Aug. 1, but the agency extended the deadline to Oct. 3 after a clerical error. Critics still argue lenders need more time to get […]

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