A look at stories across HousingWire’s weekend desk, with more coverage to come on bigger issues:
The upcoming week holds plenty of new economic data. The Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller home price index for June, to be released on Tuesday morning, is expected to show the first annual increase in two years.
Zillow (Z) Chief Economist Stan Humphries expects the 20-city composite index to increase 0.3% from last year and nearly a full percentage point from the previous month. However, the index lags behind the market and will reflect the height of the home sales season already passed.
“While the Case-Shiller indices have been appreciating at a healthy clip for the past few months, we do expect them to moderate and likely report monthly declines toward the end of the year, largely as a function of declining overall monthly sales volume, which will increase the percentage of foreclosure re-sales in the transactional mix being tracked by Case-Shiller,” Humphries said.
Still, the first annual increase in such a long time will be welcome news. Pending home sales along with a revised GDP number and the Beige Book report (all scheduled to be released on Wednesday) and consumer confidence figures (due out on Tuesday) will also give some more recent signs of where the economy is heading.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will give a speech Friday in Jackson Hole, Wyo., and may provide more hints at further possible Fed action.
In its latest committee minutes, Fed members gave strong signs a third round of a major bond buying program could come soon.
An executive who led the $25 billion national foreclosure settlement talks on behalf of JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is looking to grow a new servicing shop.
In March, David Schneider became the new CEO of the mortgage servicer Vericrest Financial, based in Dallas. He was previously the head of default servicing at Chase. The firm agreed to provide roughly $4.2 billion in relief for homeowners to settle past foreclosure abuses such as robo-signing.
Schneider hired David Slear over the weekend as the senior vice president of default services for Vericrest. He was previously in charge of mortgage lending at HSBC (HBC) Slear will focus on developing homeownership preservation programs at the growing company.
In a statement, Schneider hinted at how the company will adapt to the sweeping changes facing those mid-sized firms looking to pick up market share from the largest banks.
“Instead of using traditional collection tactics, Vericrest engages the customer in an ongoing dialogue to analyze the situation thoroughly and find the best solution,” Schneider said. “Whether we are working with customers to retain their homes or helping them to move on from their current situations, we want them to have a positive experience; one that is respectful, fair and compliant.”
A prominent mortgage lender actually expanded into Georgia over the weekend.
The state with the most failed banks also held the highest foreclosure percentage in May. But Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. opened an office in Pooler, Ga. It will serve the Savannah and Effingham County area.
Fairway closed $3.6 billion in mortgages last year. Its new Georgia location is part of a network of shops totaling roughly 130 around the country.
There were no bank failures over the weekend. Regulators closed just 40 so far this year, down from 68 at the same time in 2011.