News

U.S. to continue investigating money laundering by foreign real estate buyers

Title companies required to reveal identities of high-end cash buyers
The federal government will continue investigating whether foreign buyers are using high-end U.S. real estate to launder money after an expanded investigation found that potentially illicit activity is behind as many as one in three cash purchases from foreign buyers in select markets.
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Rising Stars entry deadline extended!

Fine, twist our arms…
A favorite saying of ours is “deadlines spur action,” and in the case of our Rising Stars awards program, it’s proving true. Quite a few of you are waiting until the last minute to get your nominations in. We’ve heard from quite a few folks that are feeling the pressure of that impending deadline, and we feel you. We get it. And we’re not monsters around here. We’re here to help.
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New home sales are up, but pace disappoints

Housing inventory remains down
New home sales increased in December, but industry experts are not impressed. Given the unusually high temperatures throughout the winter and the high demand for housing, experts expected new home sales to come out with much stronger numbers.
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Here’s how first-time homebuyers in U.S. stack up to their Canadian neighbors

U.S. falling behind when it comes to down payments
First-time homebuyers in Canada and the U.S. both seem to be putting off buying a home amid rising home prices. However, the similarity between the two countries ends once these first-time buyers decide to make their purchase. While homebuyers in the U.S. are increasingly looking to lower down-payment options, down payment amounts in Canada reached an all-time high.
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Redwood Trust CEO: We're ready for Trump to bring private capital back to mortgages

Tells investors that REIT will be "aggressive" when time comes
During an interview with CNBC on Thursday, Steven Mnuchin, the newly minted Secretary of the Department of the Treasury, reiterated the Trump administration’s pledge to pursue reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And if that happens, Marty Hughes, the CEO of Redwood Trust, says that the real estate investment trust will be ready and willing to step further into the market.
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Embrace Home Loans expands into Texas

Opens new office in Dallas suburb of Frisco
Recent reports from the Texas Association of Realtors and Fitch Ratings call out how hot Texas real estate right now, as more homes were sold last year than ever before. Seeking to strike while the iron is hot, Embrace Home Loans announced this week that it is expanding into Texas and opening its first office in the state.
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Ocwen SEC filing reveals details of CFPB mortgage servicing investigation

Nonbank set aside $12.5 million for potential settlement
During Ocwen’s investor call, CEO Ron Faris was asked about the company’s disclosure in its fourth-quarter earnings that it set aside $12.5 million for “potential” regulatory settlements. Faris responded by directing observers to the disclosures in the company’s upcoming 10-K filing with the SEC. Well, Ocwen filed its 10-K on Thursday, and as it turns out, that $12.5 million is for a potential settlement with the CFPB.
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Impac reports best year in more than a decade

Mortgage originations surge
Impac Mortgage Holdings locked in a record financial year on Thursday, recording adjusted operating income of $96.9 million, or $6.52 per diluted common share, for all of 2016. This is significantly up from a year ago and a big contributor to this growth was purchase originations.
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