Housing Roars On, Property Values up, Southland CA, Hope Now on Mods, Housing Turns, Fitch on Refis, 4 Hot Topics, Phoenix is Hot, No free Lunch, 2012 HARP Refis

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Capital Economics: ‘No Signs of Imminent Slowdown’ in Housing – BY: KRISTA FRANKS BROCK    – Housing inventory is now at its lowest level since January 1994; home sales have exceeded listings for the past 25 months; and the upward trajectory in home prices starting at the end of last year continues, according to the latest “US Housing Market Monthly” from Capital Economics. Home sales are “normal” relative to population, but supply remains low, according to the firm. Declining foreclosures are contributing to the current environment of tight inventory. – The M Report 
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FNC: Residential Property Values increased 5.7% year-over-year in January – by Bill McBride – In addition to Case-Shiller, CoreLogic, FHFA and LPS, I’m also watching the FNC, Zillow and several other house price indexes. – Calculated Risk

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Southland home prices, sales continue to climb in February – The median price in the six-county Southland rose nearly 21% from February 2012, and the volume of sales hit the highest level for the month in six years. – by Andrew Khouri, Los Angeles Times

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Servicers complete 108,000 loan mods, short sales – By Kerri Ann Panchuk – Mortgage servicers delivered 108,000 loan modifications and short sales in January, according to Hope Now. The Hope Now organization, which aligns the efforts of servicers, investors, insurers and nonprofit counselors to save troubled homeowners, noted that member servicers finalized 6.15 million loan modifications over the course of the past six years. – Housingwire

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Turning Point for Housing: Annual housing market edition – by Diane Swonk, Chief Economist, Mesirow Financial 
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(lots of stats) Fitch: Refinancings Still High on Newer U.S. MortgagesBUSINESS WIRE – Prime mortgage borrowers in U.S. RMBS pools issued since the start of 2010 are still prepaying at rapid rates, reflecting the refinance incentives driven by low mortgage rates, according to Fitch Ratings. … Last month, prime RMBS mortgage pools issued since 2010 reported an average conditional prepayment rate (CPR) of approximately 42%. This is more than twice as fast as the rates of outstanding prime loans securitized in earlier vintages. …

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(will rates rise?) Morgan Stanley: The US Economy Is On The Verge Of A Major ‘Inflection Point’ – Joe Weisenthal – … The deleveraging is coming to an end. The private sector is normalizing. The crisis is over. … – Business Insider

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MICHELLE MEYER: Here Are The 4 Hot Housing Topics You Need To Watch – Mamta Badkar – Both Bank of America and Capital Economics are calling for an 8 percent rise in 2013. … Home prices are picking up on the back of four key things 1. Low inventory 2. High affordability 3. Reduced shadow inventory 4. Positive feedback loop … – Business Insider

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Is The Phoenix Housing Market Getting Too Hot? – Zoomie Brokers – Seeking Alpha 
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‘If I Were the Dictator, I Would Want a Government-Guaranteed Mortgage’: DimonTheStreet.com

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(same saga of risk vs losses) Fed Governor: Consumer Protections May Come with a Cost – BY: KRISTA FRANKS BROCK – As the industry prepares to implement the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) new ability-to-repay rules, Federal Reserve Governor Elizabeth Duke warns new consumer protections may come at a cost to the industry as lower-quality-credit borrowers are precluded from the housing market.The M Report
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FHFA: HARP refinancings beat 2012 estimates – By Kerri Ann Panchuk – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac refinanced nearly 1.1 million mortgages through the Home Affordable Refinance Program last year, beating overall estimates for 2012. Since the program’s launch in 2009, 2.2 million loans have successfully refinanced through the government’s program, the Federal Housing Finance Agency concluded in its December HARP report. – Housingwire

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