NATNews Blog
Welcome to NATNews, North American Title Company’s news and information portal for professionals in the real estate, mortgage and title insurance industries. As your trusted partner in the business of buying and selling real estate, we know that the success of your business is inextricably linked to market forces, the buying habits of the different generations, regulatory changes, social trends and more. With the launch of NATNews, we will be providing our partners with daily updates concerning market trends, business news and regulatory information to keep you informed of the most critical issues that could impact your business.
 
  • Cybersecurity: Protecting your senior clients

    1/19/2018 8:21:56 AM

    Working with the elderly is a lot different than working with any other client type. When dealing with older clients, you're usually more hands-on, especially if they don't have a family member advocating for them. Since real estate is now so heavily reliant on technology, you'll need to play a part in informing your elderly clients of the risks associated with internet-based communications.

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  • 4 ways to use a buyer’s body language to make a sale

    1/18/2018 9:01:42 AM

    It's no surprise that phone calls and emails fall short when it comes to closing a deal. That's because body language accounts for 55 percent of a person's signals throughout a conversation. The most successful agents know how to look and listen carefully, using non-verbal indicators to establish relationships and make sales

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  • Ninja Selling: Stop Selling and Start Attracting

    1/17/2018 4:50:20 AM

    People love to buy, but they hate to be sold. "So, stop selling," says Larry Kendall. Kendall is the author of "Ninja Selling," a sales training system. By following the Ninja Selling System,Kendall says real estate agents increase their income per hour so they could have a work and life balance.

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  • How animation can attract more buyers to your listings

    1/16/2018 7:19:35 AM

    Photos can now be enhanced with new technology that allows users to add animation to an image. Essentially, this technology could "bring homes to life," making the buying experience more interactive.

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  • MBA CREF Survey: Commercial expected to be strong in 2018

    1/16/2018 7:08:46 AM

    Commercial and multifamily mortgage originators expect another strong year according to the 2018 MBA CREF Outlook Survey. Nearly four-in-five of the top commercial/multifamily firms expect originations to increase in 2018, with almost 22 percent expecting an overall increase of 5 percent or more across the entire market.

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  • Freddie Mac: More than $68B in multifamily loans securitized in 2017

    1/11/2018 8:44:37 AM

    Freddie Mac announced on Jan. 5 that it has issued a record-setting $68 billion in multifamily securities in 2017, effectively transferring the majority of risk from taxpayers to private investors.

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  • Social Media Do's and Don'ts

    1/11/2018 8:35:15 AM

    In a culture where social media has become a top influencer and communication vehicle, it’s important to constantly hone your best practices. Here are some helpful do’s and don’ts to keep in mind before your next post.

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  • Home Purchase Sentiment Index ends 2017 on a cautious note

    1/9/2018 8:55:06 AM

    The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index decreased 2.0 points in December to 85.8, reversing last month’s rise. The decrease can be attributed to decreases in four of the six HPSI components.

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  • Consumer confidence declines slightly, remains at historically high levels

    1/8/2018 11:06:58 AM

    Consumer confidence retreated in December after reaching a 17-year high in November, according to The Conference Board. Despite the decline in confidence, consumers’ expectations remain at historically strong levels, suggesting economic growth will continue well into 2018.

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  • NAHB commends DOL for proposed rule on Small Business Health Plans

    1/5/2018 12:55:42 PM

    The National Association of Home Builders commended the Department of Labor for issuing a proposed rule that is intended to expand access to health coverage by allowing more employers to form Small Business Health Plans, also known as Association Health Plans.

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  • Construction jobs contribute to 148,000 jobs increase in December

    1/5/2018 9:05:14 AM

    Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 148,000 in December, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment gains occurred in health care, construction, and manufacturing. Construction accounted for 30,000 jobs, topping 210,000 for the year.

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  • Ellie Mae: Average credit scores for Millennial homebuyers continue to decrease

    1/4/2018 10:53:00 AM

    To attract a larger pool of potential first-time homebuyers, some lenders are making it easier to get a home loan by lowering their FICO score requirements.

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  • CoreLogic: Home prices increased by 7 percent year over year in November

    1/3/2018 11:01:15 AM

    CoreLogic released its CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI) and HPI Forecast for November 2017, which shows home prices are up both year over year and month over month.

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  • Mortgage rates move higher  

    1/2/2018 10:13:51 AM

    Freddie Mac on Dec. 28 released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey, showing average mortgage rates continuing to inch higher at the end of 2017.

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  • Mortgage Lenders: Negative outlook on profit margin, refi activity in 2018

    1/2/2018 9:55:24 AM

    Mortgage lenders again reported a negative profit margin outlook for the next three months, citing competition as the primary reason and continuing a quarterly trend beginning the same time last year, according to Fannie Mae’s Q4 2017 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey.

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  • Hang on to past clients

    12/28/2017 9:13:03 AM

    To help generate new business, maintaining relationships with previous clients may be one of your keys to success. Here are some reasons to maintain these connections and suggestions on how to make them stronger.

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  • Top (Free) Apps for 2018

    12/28/2017 8:43:49 AM

    "Tis the season" for Realtors to review their 2017 business year and determine what needs to be done for an even more successful 2018. With the proper apps in place, your business needs can match your on-the-go lifestyle, saving you time and improving your workflow. Here are the top apps for 2018.

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  • Ask the Expert: How can I guide clients through the home inspection process?

    12/27/2017 10:21:32 AM

    After being in business for 25 years and performing over a million inspections, HomeTeam Inspection Service has identified the top ways to ensure a smoother home inspection, contributing to happier clients and a better outcome.

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  • Pending home sales inch up 0.2 percent in November

    12/27/2017 9:26:12 AM

    Pending home sales were mostly unmoved in November, but did squeak out a minor gain both on a monthly and annualized basis, according to the National Association of Realtors. Heading into 2018, existing-home sales and price growth are forecast to slow, primarily because of the altered tax benefits of homeownership affecting some high-cost areas.

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  • Net neutrality rollback: A threat to real estate industry?

    12/26/2017 1:46:10 PM

    The net neutrality controversy came to a head recently when the Federal Communications Commission repealed the Obama-era open internet regulations following a meeting on Dec. 14. The repeal has been contested by the real estate industry, consumers and Democrat lawmakers, who sought to keep streaming and internet service provider choice in consumers' court.

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  • Existing-home sales at strong pace, soar 5.6 percent in November

    12/22/2017 12:42:28 PM

    Existing-home sales surged for the third straight month in November and reached their strongest pace in almost 11 years, according to the National Association of Realtors. All major regions except for the West saw a significant hike in sales activity last month.

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  • Economy expected to end 2017 on a cheerful note

    12/20/2017 12:17:10 PM

    The 2017 economic growth forecast increased one-tenth from the prior forecast to 2.5 percent due to the government’s upgraded third quarter GDP growth estimate and an expected solid fourth quarter finish, according to the Fannie Mae Economic & Strategic Research Group’s December 2017 Economic and Housing Outlook.

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  • HOME Survey: Housing and economic optimism cools at year's end

    12/19/2017 8:18:32 AM

    Despite steady job creation, record stock market gains and faster economic growth in recent months, new consumer findings from the National Association of Realtors surprisingly show that a smaller share of households believe that now is a good time to buy or sell a home.

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  • Builders confident as market primed to expand in 2018

    12/19/2017 7:52:41 AM

    Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes increased five points to a level of 74 in December on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) after a downwardly revised November reading. This was the highest report since July 1999, over 18 years ago.

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  • How Predictive Analytics Is Changing Real Estate

    12/14/2017 5:58:05 AM

    The idea of using data in real estate isn't new — think tax records, comps, valuations, or even local school, business and crime statistics. But with consumers demanding more and more information, and more data being available on consumer behavior than ever before, the use of predictive analytics is the game changer.

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  • November new home mortgage applications up 12.2% YOY

    12/13/2017 8:11:39 AM

    The Mortgage Bankers Association Builder Applications Survey data for November 2017 shows mortgage applications for new home purchases increased 12.2 percent compared to November 2016.

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  • Commercial/multifamily mortgage debt rises to $3.11 trillion

    12/12/2017 4:24:09 PM

    The level of commercial/multifamily mortgage debt outstanding increased by $45.4 billion, or 1.5%, to $3.11 trillion in the third quarter of 2017 as all four major investor groups, including Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities (CMBS), increased their holdings over the second quarter.

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  • CoreLogic: September mortgage delinquency rates lowest in more than a decade

    12/12/2017 3:32:24 PM

    CoreLogic released its monthly Loan Performance Insights Report which shows that, nationally, 5 percent of mortgages were in some stage of delinquency in September 2017. The September foreclosure inventory rate was the lowest for the month of September in 11 years, when it was 0.5 percent in September 2006.

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  • Employment increases by 228,000

    12/11/2017 5:26:49 PM

    Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 228,000 in November, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Dec.8. Employment continued to trend up in professional and business services, manufacturing, and health care.

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  • Mind shift: 4 quick tips to jumpstart 2018

    12/11/2017 5:12:59 PM

    If you're reviewing your 2017 numbers and aren't exactly where you planned to be, let's focus on how to jumpstart your 2018 with high production.
     

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  • HPSI returns to gradual upward trend with November jump

    12/7/2017 8:59:16 AM

    The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) increased 2.6 points in November to 87.8, once again nearing its all-time high from September. The increase can be attributed to increases in four of the six HPSI components.

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  • Independent mortgage bank Q3 production profits down

    12/7/2017 8:17:20 AM

    Independent mortgage banks and mortgage subsidiaries of chartered banks reported a net gain of $929 on each loan they originated in the third quarter of 2017, down from a reported gain of $1,122 per loan in the second quarter of 2017, the MBA reported in its Quarterly Mortgage Bankers Performance Report.

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  • How Diversity in Brokerages Attracts More Business

    12/6/2017 2:02:26 PM

    How can brokerages benefit and gain business from the diversity of their agents? Some of real estate's leading diversity trailblazers share their insights.

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  • Five ways to help clients through a natural disaster

    12/6/2017 1:44:19 PM

    When disaster strikes, there are three overall considerations that real estate agents should take into account, including the extent of the impact on the entire region, the immediate impact on pending transactions and finally, the five best ways to navigate affected transactions with both buyers and sellers.

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  • Adapt your business to the on-demand economy

    12/5/2017 6:31:13 AM

    Catering to the on-demand economy — the consumer-driven, get-it-now landscape we live in today — is a must for real estate practitioners in the year ahead.

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  • Everything works, and nothing doesn't

    12/1/2017 9:11:10 AM

    If you're looking to make more money in real estate in less time, there are some simple ways to make it happen.

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  • The Fed reports economic activity continues modest trajectory

    12/1/2017 8:56:50 AM

    Economic activity continued to increase at a modest to moderate pace in October and mid-November, according to anecdotal reports from contacts across the 12 Federal Reserve Districts, according to the Federal Reserve's recent Beige Book release. There was a slight improvement in the outlook among contacts in reporting Districts.

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  • New home sales rate reaches 10-year high in October

    11/29/2017 11:08:27 AM

    Sales of newly built, single-family homes in October rose 6.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 685,000 units from a downwardly revised September reading. This is the highest sales pace since October 2007. Year-to-date, new home sales are 8.9 percent above their level over the same period last year.

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  • 5 red flags in the title process

    11/29/2017 10:01:03 AM

    As a real estate professional, you’ve worked long and hard to bring the deal together, dotting every “I” and crossing every “t”. But sometimes, there are extenuating factors that you – and even the buyer or seller – may not know or disclose. Here are some of the most common behind-the-scene situations that must be brought to resolution before your transaction can close.

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  • Existing-home sales grow 2 percent in October

    11/27/2017 6:39:18 AM

    Existing-home sales increased in October to their strongest pace since earlier this summer, but continual supply shortages led to fewer closings on an annual basis for the second straight month, according to the National Association of Realtors.

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  • Digitally transforming your business

    11/21/2017 9:22:28 AM

    One of the challenges facing small businesses today is trying to deliver the same customer experience as larger competitors. As technology advances and takes on an ever-growing role, small businesses can tap new innovations to better communicate with customers, save money and simplify operations.

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  • Housing starts up sharply, near post-recession high in October

    11/21/2017 8:58:15 AM

    Nationwide housing starts rose 13.7 percent in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.29 million units after a slight upward revision to the September reading, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department.

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  • Growth forecast increases on post-hurricane resiliency, business optimism

    11/20/2017 6:07:18 AM

    The full-year 2017 economic growth forecast increased two-tenths to 2.4 percent following a stronger-than-expected estimate of third quarter real GDP growth and an improvement to the fourth quarter outlook, according to the Fannie Mae Economic & Strategic Research Group’s November 2017 Economic and Housing Outlook.

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  • Under promise, over deliver

    11/16/2017 9:46:27 AM

    The real estate industry is full of amazing people who have a desire to do well, but according to Gallup Poll, we're not very well-respected. This is in part a symptom of over promising and under delivering. Here are some tips from elite agents who make it their mission to create the ultimate client experience.

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  • House passes bill to reform NFIP

    11/15/2017 4:13:59 PM

    The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed the 21st Century Flood Reform Act, a bill designed to reform the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The bill also renews the NFIP for five years.

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  • Commercial/multifamily borrowing up 21 percent year-over-year

    11/14/2017 10:51:14 AM

    According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Quarterly Survey of Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Bankers Originations, third quarter 2017 commercial and multifamily mortgage loan originations were 21 percent higher than during the same period last year and 8 percent higher than the second quarter of 2017.

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  • HPSI dips on diminished home buyer and seller sentiment

    11/13/2017 8:45:59 AM

    Home sellers are a bit more pessimistic, according to the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index which decreased 3.1 points in October to 85.2. The decline can be attributed to decreases in four of the six HPSI components, including an 8 percent decrease in respondents who say now is a good time to sell.

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  • Freddie Mac: No bubble, but markets ‘out of balance’

    11/10/2017 8:29:19 AM

    In its November Insight report, Freddie Mac explored the warning signs of a possible new bubble and determined while the housing market is not currently in a bubble, it is significantly out of balance.

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  • Mortgage credit availability decreases slightly in October

    11/10/2017 8:12:18 AM

    Mortgage credit availability decreased slightly in October according to the Mortgage Credit Availability Index, a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association that analyzes data from Ellie Mae's AllRegs Market Clarity business information tool.

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  • NAHB lauds Save Local Business Act passage, urges Senate to follow suit

    11/9/2017 9:09:47 AM

    NAHB commended the House for passing the bipartisan Save Local Business Act, legislation that would amend the National Labor Relations Act and Fair Labor Standards Act to restore a common sense joint employer standard for home building firms and other small businesses.
     

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  • Retaining talent in the age of emotional intelligence

    11/8/2017 10:38:15 AM

    One critical objective in these extremely challenging times is to effectively attract, select and retain humanistic, high-performance relationship builders who drive sales.

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  • Transparency calls for new approach for real estate agents

    11/7/2017 9:42:20 AM

    The ability to search for information and the transparency of both property and players is changing how the process unfolds as well as the viability of the professionals who serve in the industry. What does it take for real estate agents to be successful in this new environment.
     

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  • Data shows lowest mortgage delinquency rate since the financial crisis

    11/7/2017 8:43:05 AM

    The CFPBs new Mortgage Performance Trends tool that tracks delinquency rates nationwide shows that mortgage delinquency rates nationally are at their lowest point since the financial crisis. In addition to national data, the online tool features interactive charts and graphs with data on mortgage delinquency rates for 50 states and the District of Columbia at the county and metro-area level.

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  • Must-have on-the-road tools every real estate professional should have

    11/7/2017 8:33:05 AM

    From virtual tools to tangible gadgets, there are some things every real estate professional should have on hand at all times. Learn which ones can help carry you to success, from a vibrant online presence and abundant, accessible internet file storage to the right mobile apps and more.

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  • Metro home prices maintain fast growth in Q3

    11/3/2017 7:24:08 AM

    Severely lacking inventory levels across the country pinched sales growth and kept home prices rising at a steady clip in nearly all metro areas in the third quarter, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors.

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  • Survey: First-time buyers stifled by low supply, affordability

    11/1/2017 3:48:43 PM

    Despite solid interest in buying a home – sparked by steady job gains, record low mortgage rates and higher rents – the severe drought in housing supply in much of the country over the past year accelerated price growth and kept many first-time buyers out of the market.

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  • Home haunted? No problem, new survey shows

    10/31/2017 8:06:06 AM

    Would you ever live in a haunted home? A new survey from realtor.com shows most folks won't shy away from a spooky space — so long as the price is right.

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  • MBA forecasts commercial/multifamily originations flat in 2018

    10/30/2017 9:00:27 AM

    MBA projects commercial and multifamily mortgage originations will increase in 2017, ending the year at $515 billion, up 5 percent from the 2016 volumes. MBA expects volumes to remain at roughly that level in 2018.

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  • Trade groups join ALTA urging support for TRID improvement bill

    10/30/2017 8:56:35 AM

    ALTA and nearly two dozen industry trade groups sent a letter urging members of the U.S House of Representatives to support legislation that would correct the inaccurate disclosure of title insurance premiums on the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures.

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  • Pending home sales flatten in September

    10/27/2017 9:50:52 AM

    Pending home sales were unchanged in September, but activity declined on an annual basis both nationally and in all major regions, according to the National Association of Realtors.

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  • Survey highlights changing preferences towards renting among all demographics

    10/27/2017 9:29:22 AM

    New research released by Freddie Mac finds that an increasing number of America's renters are satisfied with their living situation and consider it the most affordable option for the foreseeable future.

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  • Demand for new home construction remains solid

    10/26/2017 8:52:50 AM

    Sales of newly built, single-family homes in September rose 18.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 667,000 units from an upwardly revised August reading, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

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  • NAIC’s cybersecurity model law creates standards for insurers

    10/26/2017 8:39:32 AM

    The National Association of Insurance Commissioners adopted the Insurance Data Security Model Law during a joint meeting of the Executive Committee and Plenary in October.

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  • Fannie Mae unveils new and enhanced solutions

    10/24/2017 2:04:44 PM

    Fannie Mae has introduced three new solutions intended to build on its Day 1 Certainty program and further simplify the mortgage process for lenders and servicers.

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  • ICBA, NAFCU urge Watt on Fannie, Freddie capital buffers

    10/23/2017 6:36:12 AM

    The Independent Community Bankers of America and the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions wrote to Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt urging the agency to allow the government-sponsored enterprises to rebuild their capital buffers.

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  • Existing-home sales inch higher in September

    10/20/2017 10:16:42 AM

    After three straight monthly declines, existing-home sales slightly reversed course in September, but ongoing supply shortages and recent hurricanes muted overall activity and caused sales to fall back on an annual basis, according to the National Association of Realtors.

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  • Multifamily lending up 8 percent in 2016

    10/20/2017 10:03:37 AM

    Multifamily lending was up 8 percent year over year in 2016, with nearly three thousand different multifamily lenders providing a total of $269.2 billion in new mortgages for apartment buildings with five or more units, according to a new report from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

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  • Economic growth outlook unchanged following hurricanes 

    10/18/2017 8:17:52 AM

    The full-year 2017 economic growth forecast remains unchanged at 2.2 percent following expected offsetting hurricane-related impacts to GDP growth in the third and fourth quarters, according to the Fannie Mae Economic & Strategic Research Group’s October 2017 Economic and Housing Outlook.

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  • Lead your real estate team to success

    10/17/2017 3:16:38 AM

    As a leader, you are a trusted, influential, and indispensable part of your real estate team. Learn the secrets to managing a thriving and happy team, so you can achieve more together.

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  • Snapchat vs Instagram: Which one is for you?

    10/16/2017 7:34:59 AM

    Social platforms are always battling it out to determine who will be today's top contender. This seems to be the "Story" between two social platforms that share similar features: Snapchat and Instagram.

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  • ALTA unveils ‘Our Values’ initiative

    10/16/2017 6:09:04 AM

    ALTA announced the land title insurance industry’s Our Values initiative, which serves as the industry’s cultural compass and highlights the universal core ideals ALTA members embrace.

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  • Nine effective ways to attract new business

    10/12/2017 7:06:23 AM

    Personable and capable real estate professionals establish long-lasting business relationships that result in customer loyalty and referrals. But since attracting new business is the lifeblood of a career, even the most successful agents look for new ways to attract new clients.

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  • Real estate deal-breakers and how to fix them efficiently

    10/11/2017 2:07:47 PM

    Some real estate transactions are complicated, and major roadblocks may develop that threaten the entire project. These are a few of the more significant factors that buyers and sellers may run into during the real estate sales process that could potentially prevent the deal from going through as planned.

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  • Overall housing confidence up on rising renter optimism

    10/10/2017 7:30:18 AM

    The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) increased 0.3 points in September to 88.3, matching the all-time high set in June. The rise can be attributed to increases in three of the six HPSI components.

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  • Hurricanes push employment numbers into negative territory

    10/9/2017 4:58:40 AM

    The unemployment rate declined to 4.2 percent in September, and total nonfarm payroll employment changed little (-33,000), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. A sharp employment decline in food services and drinking places and below-trend growth in some other industries likely reflected the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.

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  • Freddie Mac September insight: Is geography destiny?

    10/6/2017 4:28:42 AM

    Freddie Mac released its Insight for September, which explores the relative influence of regulatory and geographic constraints on housing affordability. Economists and policy makers agree that restrictive land use regulations have reduced affordability in our high-growth cities and metropolitan areas.

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  • Get the skills that pay the bills

    10/5/2017 7:58:40 AM

    While many agents may dream of working in a constant state of peak production, for most, their path is filled with peaks and valleys. The key to consistent success in our industry is to maintain a peak state throughout, while keeping fatigue at bay.

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  • 9 tips to boost the value of your next client appreciation event

    10/4/2017 7:37:15 AM

    Now's the time of year to surprise and delight your customers, clients and referral sources with an invitation to an appreciation celebration. Such events make prospecting fun and profitable. When you create a connection through an enjoyable event, you ensure the power of face-to-face connections in a social setting.

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  • Fraud risk likely to increase in hurricane ravaged areas

    10/3/2017 8:34:28 AM

    According to the First American August 2017 Loan Application Defect Index report, hurricane ravaged areas may experience increased frequency of defects, fraudulence and misrepresentation over the coming year.

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  • FFIEC announces availability of 2016 data on mortgage lending

    10/3/2017 8:24:58 AM

    The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council announced the availability of data on mortgage lending transactions at 6,762 U.S. financial institutions covered by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.

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  • Federal Reserve: Rate remains as-is for now

    9/28/2017 8:50:34 AM

    The Federal Reserve kept the key interest rate unchanged at its most recent meeting, but left open the possibility of a rise in the rate in December. The Fed will start thinning out trillions from its balance sheet in October as it works to wind down its bond-buying program.

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  • New home sales fall 3.4 percent in August

    9/27/2017 9:21:43 AM

    Sales of newly built, single-family homes in August fell 3.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 560,000 units from an upwardly revised July reading, according to newly released data by the U.S. HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau. Year-to-date, new home sales are 7.5 percent above their level over the same period last year.

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  • NAR: Homeownership deserves protection in tax reform debate

    9/27/2017 9:17:31 AM

    Tax reform done right could yield savings and simplification that benefits average Americans, but history shows that misguided reforms can pose significant threats to the economy, according to the National Association of Realtors' recent message to Congress.

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  • New home sales to drive 2018 growth

    9/26/2017 10:31:38 AM

    With 1.33 million housing starts expected in 2018 (up from 1.22 in 2017), new home sales should be the primary driver of sales in 2018, according to Freddie Mac’s Outlook for September.

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  • Tackling negative online reviews head-on

    9/26/2017 10:14:19 AM

    Online reviews are helpful because they provide information about products or services that consumers are interested in; they also demonstrate how a company handles problems. A negative review can tell you more than a positive review. When a company handles a bad review well, the consumer will be more likely to work with them. Are you equipped to handle negative reviews that come your way?

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  • HOME Survey: Renters optimism towards home buying on the rise

    9/25/2017 1:29:38 PM

    There appears to be a revival from renters that now is a good time to buy a home, according to NAR’s third quarter Housing Opportunities and Market Experience  (HOME) survey.

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  • Builder confidence drops three points as hurricanes add uncertainty

    9/25/2017 1:23:21 PM

    Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes fell three points to a level of 64 in September from a downwardly revised August reading of 67 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).

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  • ​Existing-home sales subside 1.7 percent in August

    9/21/2017 3:03:34 PM

    Existing-home sales stumbled in August for the fourth time in five months as strained supply levels continue to subdue overall activity, according to the National Association of Realtors. Sales gains in the Northeast and Midwest were outpaced by declines in the South and West.

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  • ​Growth warms even as hurricanes cloud economic outlook

    9/20/2017 9:18:05 AM

    An improved second quarter estimate of real gross domestic product growth helped push the full-year growth forecast higher despite increased economic uncertainty following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, according to the Fannie Mae Economic & Strategic Research Group’s September 2017 Economic and Housing Outlook.

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  • Must-have apps for real estate professionals

    9/20/2017 9:09:33 AM

    Apps, software and web integrations can help you work smarter and make life easier. Check out these eight tools real estate agents can leverage to effectively manage communications, business tasks and marketing. 

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  • ​Student debt delaying Millennial homeownership by 7 Years

    9/19/2017 8:19:32 AM

    Despite being in the prime years to buy their first home, an overwhelming majority of millennials with student debt currently do not own a home and believe this debt is to blame for what they typically expect to be a seven-year delay from buying.

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  • The final walk-through: Issues and resolutions

    9/18/2017 8:33:56 AM

    As the buyer’s agent, you’ve seen the transaction through a few bumps in the road — perhaps a bidding war, disagreements over terms or a glitch in loan approval. But now the deal is close to closing and one more hurdle remains: bringing in your buyers for what you hope will be an uneventful walk-through.

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  • It's not too late: Your 2017 content roadmap

    9/18/2017 8:15:16 AM

    This is one of the best times of the year to reevaluate your content strategy with the best months of the year just around the corner Think of this as a play-by-play on what and how to post for the rest of the year, as well as what to look forward to each month to help you close out 2017 as strong as ever.

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  • Outlook remains bright for commercial real estate despite price plateau

    9/14/2017 9:01:35 AM

    Commercial real estate price growth in large markets is expected to flatten over the next year, but strong leasing demand and investor appetite in smaller markets should keep the sector on solid ground, according to the latest National Association of Realtors quarterly commercial real estate forecast.

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  • ​MBA releases white paper examining CFPB enforcement approach

    9/13/2017 12:25:28 PM

    MBA released a new white paper, titled CFPB 2.0: Advancing Consumer Protection, that examines the approach of the CFPB during its first five years of undertaking enforcement actions in key areas.

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  • ​Mortgage credit availability increases in August

    9/12/2017 7:40:55 AM

    Mortgage credit availability increased slightly in August according to the Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) which analyzes data from Ellie Mae's AllRegs Market Clarity business information tool.

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  • ​National Flood Insurance Program extended until Dec. 8

    9/11/2017 10:09:01 AM

    On Friday, Sept. 8, President Donald Trump signed legislation authorizing a three-month extension of the National Flood Insurance Program. Originally scheduled to expire on Sept. 30, the reauthorization temporarily extends the program until Dec. 8, while Congress considers a raft of bills to revamp the program.

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  • Multifamily industry sees continued growth, increased affordability challenges

    9/11/2017 9:06:52 AM

    According to a new survey commissioned by Freddie Mac, a significant majority of the multifamily industry believes the rental housing market will continue to grow, fueled by increasing demand and a growing population. At the same time, however, a plurality of participants is less optimistic about the outlook for affordable housing as compared to just one year ago.

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  • Real estate agents of distinction attract more prospects

    9/8/2017 11:21:15 AM

    Today, sales is leadership. Anyone can get a ton of information from the internet, check out reviews and use online calculators, but in the end, they look for a common denominator: specialization.

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  • ​Survivor housing a priority in hurricane recovery effort

    9/8/2017 10:56:10 AM

    The federal government continues to focus on the lives and safety of those affected by Hurricane Harvey. While the coordinated response continues, HUD, FEMA and other federal, state, local, and tribal partners, are beginning to direct efforts toward recovery, including housing survivors displaced by the disaster through the state-led disaster housing task force.

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  • Economic activity continues to expand, Hurricane Harvey causes broad disruptions

    9/7/2017 6:49:22 AM

    According to the Federal Reserve’s Sept. 6 Beige Report, economic activity expanded at a modest to moderate pace across all 12 Federal Reserve districts in July and August. Hurricane Harvey reportedly caused broad disruptions, but the full impact is not yet known.

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  • Assessing down payment requirements, PMI and financial effects

    9/6/2017 12:52:34 PM

    The benefits of homeownership must be weighed against the real challenges of pulling together a downpayment, understanding the financial commitment and determining the wisdom of putting less down to get into a home sooner rather than later. In this article, we explore information and resources for homebuyers on the options, opportunities and risks of buying their first home and do a little “myth busting” on down payment requirements and private mortgage insurance.

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  • Hurricanes shine spotlight on NFIP, as proposed reforms languish in Congress

    9/6/2017 9:36:43 AM

    The NFIP is now less than one month away from expiration, with Congress considering a range of bills to reform the program, and industry trade groups raising concerns that commercial and residential sales could grind to a halt in some areas if potential buyers are unable to get a mortgage.

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  • Loan application defect index levels off

    9/5/2017 7:37:33 AM

    The First American Loan Application Defect Index showed the frequency of defects, fraudulence and misrepresentation in the information submitted in mortgage loan applications remained the same in July 2017 as compared with the previous month.

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  • Solar leases and escrow

    9/1/2017 7:23:57 AM

    The number of houses with solar panels has increased tenfold in just the past seven years, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. But what is the impact of existing solar lease contracts when the subject property is listed for sale?

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  • ​The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased in August

    8/30/2017 8:55:06 AM

    The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had increased in July, improved further in August. The Index now stands at 122.9 (1985=100), up from 120.0 in July. The Present Situation Index increased from 145.4 to 151.2, while the Expectations Index rose marginally from 103.0 last month to 104.0.

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  • Digital trends to watch and practice

    8/30/2017 8:48:49 AM

    As the tools of digital marketing are being upgraded, so are the ways that technology can be used to reach new customers.It is important to stay abreast of the emerging trends and technologies so that you can make full use of them to the advantage of your business. 

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  • ​CFPB temporarily changes HELOC reporting threshold for community banks and credit unions

    8/29/2017 1:12:19 PM

    The CFPB has temporarily changed reporting requirements for banks and credit unions that issue home-equity lines of credit, and clarified the information that financial institutions are required to collect and report about their mortgage lending.

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  • Fannie, Freddie announce assistance to homeowners impacted by Hurricane Harvey

    8/29/2017 12:49:06 PM

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have announced they have put plans in place to temporarily suspend foreclosures and evictions in an effort to ease the burden facing homeowners affected by Hurricane Harvey.

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  • ​Delinquencies and foreclosures continue to decline in Q2

    8/25/2017 8:43:24 AM

    The delinquency rate for mortgage loans on one-to-four-unit residential properties decreased to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.24 percent of all loans outstanding at the end of the second quarter of 2017. 

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  • Cash sales dampening mortgage originations

    8/25/2017 8:36:00 AM

    Freddie Mac today released its monthly Outlook for August, which takes a look at how the limited supply of houses has created a highly competitive housing market, which in turn is helping to keep the share of cash sales significantly above its historical norm and dampening mortgage originations.

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  • ​Existing-home sales slide 1.3 percent in July

    8/24/2017 2:43:25 PM

    Listings in July typically went under contract in under 30 days for the fourth consecutive month because of high buyer demand, but existing-home sales ultimately pulled back as large declines in the Northeast and Midwest outweighed sales increases in the South and West, according to the National Association of Realtors.

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  • Working with a gobal clientele

    8/23/2017 8:45:03 AM

    For some real estate professionals, serving an international clientele is both a validation of their industry expertise and – since it typically involves upmarket U.S. properties – a prestigious source of enhanced income.

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  • ​Single-family starts hold steady in July after upward June revision

    8/22/2017 7:17:08 AM

    Single-family production slipped 0.5 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 856,000 after a strong, upwardly revised June reading. Year-to-date, single-family starts are 8.6 percent above their level over the same period last year. Multifamily starts dropped 15.3 percent to 299,000 units.

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  • ​Freddie Mac introduces innovative appraisal alternative

    8/21/2017 12:38:06 PM

    Freddie Mac announced that consumers who are buying homes or refinancing existing mortgage loans may be eligible for an automated appraisal alternative. 

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  • FHFA modifies high LTV refi program, extends HARP through 2018

    8/18/2017 5:05:11 AM

    The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced modifications to the streamlined refinance program for borrowers with high loan-to-value ratio and also directing the GSEs to extend HARP through Dec. 31, 2018.

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  • ​Upside offsets downside, keeps eonomic growth on pace

    8/17/2017 10:09:31 AM

    Looming geopolitical tensions and the growing potential for a U.S. government shutdown as well as a technical default pose risks to the economy but are not expected to derail full-year growth of 2.0 percent, according to the Fannie Mae Economic & Strategic Research Group’s August 2017 Economic and Housing Outlook.

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  • ​Home prices jump 6.2% in Q2, eclipse 2016 high

    8/16/2017 12:14:56 PM

    The headstrong supply and demand imbalances in much of the country slightly tempered the pace of sales and caused home prices to maintain their robust growth in the second quarter, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors.

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  • Eight essential strategies for achieving business longevity

    8/15/2017 6:51:36 AM

    Long-term success takes more than hard work and a little luck. Leaders and entrepreneurs who achieve exceptional business longevity share eight business practices that move them to long-term success.

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  • Email encryption: A no-brainer in the age of wire fraud

    8/14/2017 3:58:17 PM

    Real estate agents are being advised to take extra precautions with their email usage such as frequently changing passwords, refraining from clicking on links sent via email or opening attachments and opening up a fresh, new email to send to your contacts. But there is an additional security measure that Security Expert Matthew Froning highly recommends: Email encryption. Read on for the details

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  • Three tips to win the toughest bidding war for your clients

    8/14/2017 9:41:43 AM

    Since 25 percent of buyers turn to an agent for the primary purpose of getting help negotiating the price and terms of their purchase (2016 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers), this is your time to shine.

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  • How to make difficult clients happy

    8/11/2017 1:13:34 PM

    Human emotions play a significant role in the home-buying and -selling process. As a real estate professional, you work in the service industry and deal with these emotions every day. Luckily for you, many clients are happy and thrilled to start their new life — but that isn't always the case. Difficult clients are part of the business, but with a few tips, you can turn a hardship into a profit.

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  • Seven success traits from ‘The Emigrant Edge’

    8/10/2017 8:01:50 AM

    In his forthcoming book, "The Emigrant Edge: How to Make It Big in America," Brian Buffini shares the secret to his success: a mix of seven qualities that make up the Emigrant Edge.
     

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  • ​Relocation clients: Tips and challenges

    8/9/2017 1:46:34 PM

    There's no doubt about it — clients who are relocating from another city, state, or country present unique opportunities, challenges, and rewards for real estate professionals. Learning specifically how to help relocation clients can make the process easier and more enjoyable for everyone.

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  • ​Housing market continues to make gains, permits fail to keep pace

    8/8/2017 7:11:03 AM

    National Association of Home Builders/First American Leading Markets Index released Aug. 7, measures current home price, permit and employment data to plot the economic health of an individual market. Based on the 337 markets tracked by the index, nationwide markets are now running at an average of 102 percent of normal housing and economic activity.

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  • NAR reports increase in commercial income, sales transaction volume

    8/7/2017 1:01:26 PM

    Commercial real estate markets continue to improve, with Realtors specializing in commercial real estate reporting both an increase in member’s gross income and sales volume, according to the National Association of Realtors 2017 Commercial Member Profile.

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  • ​BLS reports 209,000 new jobs added in July

    8/4/2017 1:46:29 PM

    Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 209,000 in July, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in food services and drinking places, professional and business services, and health care.

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  • ​Commercial/multifamily borrowing up 20% YOY

    8/3/2017 12:39:51 PM

    According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Quarterly Survey of Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Bankers Originations, second quarter 2017 commercial and multifamily mortgage loan originations were 20 percent higher than during the same period last year and 28 percent higher than the first quarter of 2017.

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  • Home prices up 6.7% YOY in June, 5.2% increase expected through June 2018

    8/2/2017 9:02:56 AM

    CoreLogic reports that home prices are nearly 50 percent higher than the March 2011 bottom, as prices continue to escalate under tight inventory conditions.

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  • NAR Member Profile report shows income, transactions up in 2016

    8/1/2017 2:28:39 PM

    According to NAR's Member Profile report, the median sales volume for brokerage specialists increased to $1.9 million in 2016 from $1.8 million in 2015. The typical real estate agent had 12 transactions in 2016, up from 11 in the year prior.

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  • GDP increases at annual rate of 2.6% in Q2

    7/31/2017 9:38:34 AM

    Real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 2.6 percent in the second quarter of 2017, according to the advance estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). In the first quarter, real GDP increased 1.2 percent.

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  • Labor shortfall, exacerbated by immigration enforcement, difficulty attracting millennials, slows homebuilding prospects

    7/31/2017 5:14:36 AM

    Freddie Mac released its monthly Outlook for July, which analyzes the reasons that residential construction is falling behind the housing demand, Freddie Mac reports slowing housing production is in part due to a labor shortfall exacerbated by increasing immigration eforcement. 

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  • Snapchat vs. Instagram: Which one is for you?

    7/27/2017 2:52:16 PM

    As a real estate agent using social media to drive leads to your business, you can't help but wonder which of these two social sites — Snapchat or Instagram — is better. Here's a quick overview of some of the features and comparisons.

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  • ​Existing home sales retreat 1.8 percent in June

    7/26/2017 8:40:00 AM

    Existing-home sales slipped in June as low supply kept homes selling at a near record pace but ultimately ended up muting overall activity, according to the National Association of Realtors. Only the Midwest saw an increase in sales last month.

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  • Keep eyes off your prize: Why multi-factor authentication is a must

    7/26/2017 8:11:13 AM

    A data breach or unauthorized access could open the door to costly litigation or settlements. This doesn't mean the industry should reverse its digital momentum, but it does mean that real estate professionals should be smart with their digital tools and use identity-authentication measures to assure only intended parties can access documents and data online.

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  • ​CFPB proposes changes to mortgage data rule reporting threshold for community banks and credit unions

    7/25/2017 10:58:16 AM

    The CFPB has issued a proposal on reporting requirements for banks and credit unions that issue home-equity lines of credit, increasing the threshold to 500 loans through calendar years 2018 and 2019 so that the bureau can consider whether to make a permanent adjustment.

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  • Trade groups laud House NFIP reauthorization bill, as expiration date looms

    7/24/2017 11:19:13 AM

    The National Association of Home Builders and the National Association of Realtors both issued statements lauding the House Financial Services Committee for its efforts to craft a viable, long-term flood insurance reauthorization bill that they say will keep the National Flood Insurance Program fiscally sound.

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  • Builder confidence slips two points in July, remains solid

    7/21/2017 10:22:47 AM

    Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes slipped two points in July to a level of 64 from a downwardly revised June reading on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). It is the lowest reading since November 2016.

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  • ​If housing is so affordable, why doesn’t it feel that way?

    7/20/2017 9:42:23 AM

    Freddie Mac released its Insight for July, which examines some of the factors and perceptions that can make purchasing a home seem out of reach that aren't always reflected in housing affordability indices.

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  • ​Guiding homebuyers through the new credit reporting ‘fixes’

    7/19/2017 4:45:54 PM

    Credit reporting standards are changing for the good this year, as a result of a 2015 settlement with 31 state attorneys general and increased supervision by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). But, as a real estate agent or lender, you may need to put the brakes on your homebuyers’ euphoria.

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  • Building stronger client relationships: 5 ways to get social

    7/19/2017 8:43:01 AM

    Strong client relationships mean more referrals and loyalty when it's time for a couple to upgrade from their starter home to a bigger one. When it comes to the basics, using social media platforms isn't much different than social strategy and interaction in real life.

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  • Natural born leaders: The women in charge at BHHS Fox & Roach

    7/19/2017 8:30:02 AM

    While statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that 62 percent of Realtors are women, the broker and executive level of the real estate business is still predominantly occupied by men. Fortunately, the tides are turning and more women are taking their place among the industry's upper echelon.

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  • ​Expansion expected to decelerate in second half

    7/17/2017 8:56:44 AM

    Expectations for 2017 economic growth remain at 2.0 percent amid a projected second half slowdown, according to the Fannie Mae Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) Group’s July 2017 Economic and Housing Outlook.

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  • ​ALTA says CFPB missed opportunity to ease consumer confusion

    7/17/2017 8:47:18 AM

    The American Land Title Association said the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s failure to address title insurance pricing in its recent Final Amendments to Federal Mortgage Disclosure Requirements was a “missed opportunity” to clear up confusion for consumers.

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  • Get smart about prospecting for big profit

    7/14/2017 8:15:46 AM

    Want to boost your bottom line and see the results in just 90 days? If you're unhappy with the number of pending transactions or the lack of listings in your pipeline, you might need better prospecting habits.

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  • CoreLogic: Mortgage performance continues steady improvement in April

    7/13/2017 6:56:49 AM

    CoreLogic released its monthly Loan Performance Insights Report, which shows that, nationally, 4.8 percent of mortgages were in some stage of delinquency (30 days or more past due including those in foreclosure) in April 2017. This represents a 0.5 percentage point decline in the overall delinquency rate compared with April 2016 when it was 5.3 percent.

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  • The secret formula for creating a brand

    7/13/2017 6:48:17 AM

    Did the Coca-Cola brand become iconic because it tastes better than any other soft drink? Or could it be the marketing instead? And if it wasn't the specific messaging that was important, was it rather the consistency of the messaging? Here are some tips to consistently remind your database that you're ready, willing and able to help them, or anyone they know, buy or sell a home.

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  • ​Consumers’ confidence in home-selling environment strengthens

    7/12/2017 8:06:21 AM

    The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) increased 2.1 percentage points in June to 88.3, matching the all-time high from February of this year. The rise can be attributed to increases in four of the six HPSI components.

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  • CFPB finalizes TRID amendment allowing CD to be shared

    7/11/2017 7:00:47 AM

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced July 7 that it finalized updates to its “Know Before You Owe” mortgage disclosure rule, including clarifying that it is “usual, accepted, and appropriate for creditors and settlement agents to provide a Closing Disclosure to consumers, sellers, and their real estate brokers or other agents.”

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  • How agents can achieve better visibility with first-time homebuyers

    7/10/2017 8:15:02 AM

    Most millennials are first-time homebuyers, which means any agent aiming to attract new clients has to get in front of this demographic. There are a number of ways agents can achieve better visibility with first-time homebuyers.

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  • Employment increases exceed estimates, 222,000 jobs added in June

    7/7/2017 10:24:19 AM

    Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 222,000 in June, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.4 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in health care, social assistance, financial activities, and mining.

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  • Positive vs. negative leadership: 5 scenarios

    7/6/2017 7:48:42 AM

    The average modern-day workplace is far from positive. Everybody is already tense and on edge due to work demands, stress, office politics, and the economy. Add in a pessimistic, angry leader, and you've got a bigger problem. In fact, a recent Gallup poll estimates that negativity costs the economy $250-300 billion a year and affects the morale, performance, and productivity of teams.

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  • Will the Hispanic homeownership gap persist?

    7/6/2017 7:27:43 AM

    Freddie Mac released its Insight for June, which looks at the gap in the Hispanic homeownership rate and explores if it will persist over time.

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  • Survey: Homeowners believe it’s a good time to sell

    7/5/2017 8:35:53 AM

    Existing housing inventory has declined year over year each month for two straight years, but new consumer findings from the National Association of Realtors offer hope that the growing number of homeowners who think now is a good time to sell will eventually lead to more listings.

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  • Bank economists: Moderate growth to continue through 2018

    7/5/2017 8:25:46 AM

    Consumer spending has supported a prolonged expansion that is expected to continue, according to the consensus view of 15 chief economists from among the largest North American banks. 

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  • ​New home sales rise 2.9%, pending home sales slump

    6/30/2017 6:47:39 AM

    HUD reported sales of newly built, single-family homes in May rose 2.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 610,000 units, but NAR said ongoing supply shortages caused pending home sales in May to slump for the third consecutive month. None of the major regions saw an increase in contract activity last month.

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  • Multifamily market fundamentals continue to moderate

    6/30/2017 6:10:22 AM

    Freddie Mac released its quarterly update to the Multifamily Apartment Investment Market Index, showing a decrease over the first quarter of 2017 and over the past 12 months.

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  • More lenders plan to ease credit standards

    6/29/2017 12:15:05 PM

    More mortgage lenders say they have eased credit standards recently and expect further easing in the coming months, according to Fannie Mae’s second quarter 2017 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey.

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  • Take your profits through the roof

    6/28/2017 5:34:18 PM

    There are many ways to maximize your profits. In addition to increasing the number of transactions you close and/or increasing the average sales price of the homes you sell, there are other time-proven tactics that involve working smarter, not harder.

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  • ​Defect, fraud and misrepresentation risk heats up

    6/27/2017 2:11:01 PM

    The First American Loan Application Defect Index showed that the frequency of defects, fraudulence and misrepresentation in the information submitted in mortgage loan applications increased 2.5 percent in May 2017 as compared with the previous month.

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  • House committee completes markup of bills to reform NFIP

    6/27/2017 12:43:40 PM

    The House Financial Services Committee met July 21 to complete deliberation of and pass five measures to reform and reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is set to expire on Sept. 30.

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  • ​ABA Survey: Mortgage borrowers want both tech and in-person services

    6/22/2017 10:50:49 AM

    Sixty percent of Americans agree that while they use online resources for research, they prefer to apply for a mortgage in person, according to a new survey from the American Bankers Association. The survey also found down payment challenges and student debt continue to delay home purchases.

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  • Pinterest-perfect home: The long game and long gain of Pinterest

    6/21/2017 5:23:25 AM

    Pinterest is the perfect place to plan your dream home…and the right platform for home builders, real estate agents and professionals in the home industry to reach an audience who is actively searching and planning for their life — from everyday tips and tricks for sprucing up a room to the big life moments like buying or building their dream home.

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  • Fannie Mae: Fiscal, monetary policy could impact rebound

    6/20/2017 4:46:23 AM

    The current economic expansion, now entering its ninth year, is forecast to continue, with full-year growth at 2.0 percent for 2017, according to the Fannie Mae Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) Group’s June 2017 Economic and Housing Outlook.

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  • 5-step exercise to avoid costly time traps

    6/19/2017 4:54:24 AM

    Though everyone gets 24 hours in a day, it's how you choose to spend those 24 hours that's the great differentiator between whether you'll sell five, 50 or 500 homes this year. Use this five-step process, adapted from real estate coach Tom Ferry, to see whether you're harnessing the best use of your time.

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  • Multifamily decline brings overall housing starts down 5.5 percent in May

    6/19/2017 4:35:09 AM

    Led by a decline in multifamily production, nationwide housing starts fell 5.5 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.09 million units, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department.

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  • ​Builders take legislative priorities to Capitol Hill

    6/15/2017 5:26:24 AM

    More than 800 builders from across the nation marched on Capitol Hill June 14 for the annual National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Legislative Conference to call on Congress to make housing and homeownership a national priority and to support policies that will keep the housing recovery moving forward.

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  • Closing tips: LE and CD comparison insights for the homebuyer

    6/14/2017 9:52:46 AM

    In the past, HUD's "suggestion" that the buyer be given 24 hours to review the documents prior to signing was considered an improbability – if not an impossibility – for most closings. Today, homebuyers are given three business days to review and compare the original Loan Estimate and the final Closing Disclosure before proceeding to the closing. Here are tips to share with your homebuyers about why they should review the documents, how to compare the numbers and what to do if they find a discrepancy.

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  • CoreLogic: Mortgage delinquencies drop to 10-year low in March

    6/13/2017 11:29:39 AM

    CoreLogic released its monthly Loan Performance Insights Report, which shows that, nationally, 4.4 percent of mortgages were in some stage of delinquency (30 days or more past due including those in foreclosure) in March 2017. This represents a 0.8 percentage point decline in the overall delinquency rate compared with March 2016.

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  • 5 root causes for U.S.’s depressed homeownership rate

    6/13/2017 10:43:36 AM

    Despite steadily improving local job markets and historically low mortgage rates, the U.S. homeownership rate is stuck near a 50-year low because of a perverse mix of affordability challenges, student loan debt, tight credit conditions and housing supply shortages.

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  • Why is it so hard to pick up the phone?

    6/9/2017 9:02:20 AM

     I have seen many agents transform their perspective on prospecting by realizing they weren't calling to "take" anything; they were calling to "offer" their valuable expertise.

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  • A seller’s market? Consumers express diverging sentiments

    6/8/2017 1:26:21 PM

    According to the Fannie MAE HPSI, the net share of Americans who reported that now is a good time to buy a home reached a record low after falling 8 percentage points, while the net share who reported that now is a good time to sell a home reached a record high, increasing 6 percentage points.

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  • Financial institution regulatory agencies issue advisory on appraiser availability

    6/7/2017 7:30:14 AM

    Responding to concerns over the limited availability of state-certified and licensed appraisers, particularly in rural areas, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency today issued an advisory that highlights two options to help insured depository institutions and bank holding companies facilitate the timely consideration of loan applications.

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  • How to Become a Problem Solver

    6/6/2017 5:43:13 AM

    ​Every day challenges arise. They may be minor, such as being behind in your monthly marketing efforts. Other times, it's something bigger, such as a transaction that threatens to fall through or an angry client. Agents who are problem solvers aren't daunted by these challenges; instead, they handle them with confidence, knowing they're doing the right thing for their clients. So how can you turn into a problem solver?

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  • Report: Tax reform could deliver a tax hike for homeowners

    6/5/2017 9:31:07 AM

    While tax reform proposals swirling around Washington, D.C., promise lower tax bills for American families, recently released estimates indicate that many middle-income homeowners may actually see a tax increase if those proposals go through.

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  • ​Unemployment at 4.3 percent, as economy adds 138,000 jobs

    6/2/2017 1:32:54 PM

    Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 138,000 in May, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in health care and mining.

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  • ​The Fed reports modest to moderate growth across districts

    6/1/2017 9:21:41 AM

    Most of the 12 Federal Reserve Districts reported that their economies continued to expand at a modest or moderate pace from early April through late May, in the May 31 release of the Beige Report. Construction of new homes and nonresidential structures also continued to grow at modest to moderate rates, as did sales of existing homes. Most districts reported that nonresidential leasing picked up a bit.

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  • ​Foreign buyers, immigrants expected to drive future demand for U.S. housing

    5/30/2017 8:58:14 AM

    U.S. real estate markets are increasingly becoming international, and changing demographics brought forth by immigration and growing interest from foreigners are positioned to bolster home sales activity and prices. 

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  • NAR reports an upbeat outlook for commercial markets in 2017

    5/30/2017 8:37:52 AM

    NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun led a panel discussion about the economic forces shaping commercial real estate markets; the panelists agreed that the market has improved and that continued growth in the economy will further drive activity, but difficulties remain regarding availability of financing for smaller commercial properties.

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  • CFPB seeks feedback on ATR/QM Rule

    5/26/2017 11:09:05 AM

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is conducting an assessment of the Ability to Repay/Qualified Mortgage Rule and is seeking public comment on its plans for the assessment as well as certain recommendations and information that may be useful in conducting the planned assessment.

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  • FDIC-insured institutions earn $44B in Q1, ABA addresses potential rate hikes

    5/25/2017 9:30:32 AM

    Commercial banks and savings institutions insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation reported aggregate net income of $44 billion in the first quarter of 2017, up $5 billion (12.7 percent) from a year earlier.

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  • From differentiation to distinction

    5/24/2017 10:57:46 AM

    Smart agents understand the urgency to make simple, high-impact changes that create true uniqueness. Here are a few ideas to create a top-value experience that makes you stand out from the crowd:

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  • ​Freddie Mac: Housing gets off to a good start

    5/24/2017 10:39:27 AM

    Freddie Mac released its monthly Outlook for May, which highlighted the fact that the U.S. housing market is on track to eclipse last year despite weak economic growth.

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  • Luck doesn't sell listings, copy points do

    5/23/2017 10:15:32 AM

    Every buyer starts their real estate search with a list of features which can return hundreds or thousands of matching homes online. Make your listing a must-see by describing the benefits of your listing instead of simply listing the features.

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  • ​How will interest rate increases affect your home sale?

    5/23/2017 10:08:57 AM

    As the Fed began nudging up interest rates in March, I wondered what it might mean for the housing market. So we turned to K.C. Sanjay, Senior Real Estate Economist at Axiometrics.com, who recently blogged about the subject.

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  • 10 safety tips to apply before your next open house

    5/19/2017 4:46:51 PM

    Have you ever left your open house feeling like something wasn't right? Trouble is the last thing you want at an open house or showing, so we've compiled the following tips to prevent it from ever appearing.

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  • ​APIs are reshaping business strategy

    5/18/2017 10:07:47 AM

    Businesses are increasingly leveraging digital technologies to reduce errors and costs, speed up transactions, and drive better customer service.Fannie Mae surveyed senior mortgage executives to gather information about data strategy and technological innovation, and, specifically, to understand their experience with two digital technologies: APIs and Chatbots.

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  • Regulations, retention and recruitment pressing issues for appraisal industry

    5/18/2017 9:48:33 AM

    More needs to be done to keep appraisers in the profession and attract new talent. That’s according to panelists yesterday at a property valuation forum at the 2017 Realtors Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo.

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  • Freddie Mac AIMI shows seasonal slowdown, continued strength of multifamily market

    5/17/2017 9:37:27 AM

    For the fourth quarter of 2016, AIMI captured the market’s typical seasonal slowdown, with quarterly declines nationally and in all 14 major metropolitan markets it tracks.

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  • Carson, Wright tackle FHA, NFIP programs at NAR conference

    5/17/2017 9:26:18 AM

    ​HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson and FEMA's Roy Wright addressed homeownership programs and the future of NFIP, two issues high on the NAR agenda, during the Regulatory Issues Forum at the 2017 Realtors Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, DC.

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  • Fannie Mae: Q2 rebound likely to follow Q1 slowdown

    5/16/2017 10:01:32 AM

    For the fourth consecutive year, first quarter growth slowed from the fourth quarter, partly reflecting ongoing seasonality issues. However, incoming data suggest that consumer spending growth will pick up this quarter.

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  • ​April new home purchase mortgage applications drop 4.3 percent YOY

    5/15/2017 8:44:38 AM

    The Mortgage Bankers Association Builder Applications Survey data for April 2017 shows mortgage applications for new home purchases decreased 4.3 percent compared to April 2016. Compared to March 2017, applications decreased by 20 percent relative to the previous month. This change does not include any adjustment for typical seasonal patterns.

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  • ​Housing affordability registers slight uptick in Q1

    5/12/2017 2:15:59 PM

    Rising wages and moderating home prices offset a rise in mortgage interest rates to give housing affordability a slight boost in the first quarter of 2017, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index.

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  • ​Mortgage applications increase in latest MBA weekly survey

    5/11/2017 10:54:24 AM

    Mortgage applications increased 2.4 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending May 5.

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  • Expanding your business through innovation

    5/10/2017 8:33:54 AM

    This is the mindset needed to take your business to places it's never been. Where are the empty spaces — the opportunities — in which your business can become a pioneer?

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  • ​Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac submit Duty to Serve Underserved Markets Plans

    5/9/2017 9:22:29 AM

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac this week submitted their Duty to Serve Underserved Markets Plans to the Federal Housing Finance Agency for public comment.

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  • ​How to network smarter

    5/8/2017 10:10:36 AM

    Business is built on relationships. For many entrepreneurs whose small businesses are thriving, successful networking is one of the most common threads.The following tips can help small business owners make the most of networking events.

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  • Consumer confidence on the rise

    5/8/2017 10:03:49 AM

    The Fannie Mae HPSI increased 2.2 percentage points in April to 86.7. The net share of Americans who reported that now is a good time to buy a home increased 5 percentage points, and consumers also expressed greater confidence about the stability of their jobs.

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  • Risky business: Managing your social media persona

    5/5/2017 9:09:18 AM

    As a real estate agent, using social media as part of an overall marketing strategy is a must in an age where statistics show that 90 percent of homebuyers are online during some part of their home-buying process. However, there are legal and professional risks in this new environment that must be recognized.

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