In the Money

WSJ: Antitrust chief to slash merger review times

Makan Delrahim intends to limit the review process for mergers to six months or less
The Justice Department’s antitrust chief, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim, said the department is going to significantly reduce the review time of proposed mergers, according to a report by Brent Kendall from the Wall Street Journal. According to data compiled by law firm Dechert LLP, the average duration of significant U.S. merger investigations has been about 10 months in recent years.
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Coldwell Banker getting into the direct home buying business

Direct buying program could expand to other Realogy brands
Have we reached a tipping point in the trend of massive real estate players beginning to buy homes directly from homeowners? It looks like that may be the case, as one of the nation’s biggest real estate brands is planning to launch its own direct buying business, and its siblings may not be far behind.
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Loan officer makes list of best 100 jobs

Here are the best 100 jobs of 2018
US News & World Report just released its rankings of the 100 Best Jobs in 2018, and thanks to employment growth and flexibility, loan officer made the cut at No. 57. According to the rankings, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an 11% jump in employment for LOs between 2016 and 2026, with 36,500 jobs to become available in the coming decade. Other professions found in the lending world also made the list.
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Singapore real estate giant CapitaLand enters U.S. multifamily with $835 million acquisition

Buying 16 Class-B properties in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, and Denver
With rents continuing to rise with little sign of slowing, multifamily real estate in the U.S. is beginning to draw some serious international investor interest, as one of Asia’s largest real estate companies is planning a U.S. invasion of its own. Singapore’s CapitaLand announced Tuesday that it is entering the U.S. multifamily market with an $835 million acquisition of 16 apartment communities in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, and Denver.
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Quicken Loans onboards new agency to head massive marketing effort

Universal McCann takes over media buying and planning operations
According to an article from AdAge by Adrianne Pasquarelli and Megan Graham, IPG MediaBrands’ Universal McCann will now be the agency of record responsible for Quicken Loans’ media planning and buying, which Rock Holdings, Quicken’s parent company, has already made considerable investment in.
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Real estate listings site Zumper raises $46 million to build instant rental feature

Plans “Book Now” platform with funding from Axel Springer, Blackstone
As mellohome CEO Chris Heller recently noted, there’s a race afoot to be the dominant player offering a true one-stop-shop for homebuying. There appears to be a similar sprint happening on the rental side of the business as well. Case in point, rental listings site Zumper is preparing to roll out its own end-to-end platform that will allow renters to instantly rent an apartment or a home through its site.
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Finicity, Capsilon partner to streamline loan applications

Verification of Assets solution integrated into Capsilon’s borrower and loan officer workspaces
Finicity, a fintech company and 2018 HW Tech100 winner, announced an integration with Capsilon into its Verification of Assets solution. Capsilon Chief Operating Officer Jim Obsitnik said the mortgage industry is undergoing radical transformation driven by technology.
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Single-family rental giant bets big on house flipping market

Amherst Holdings is putting up $1 billion to fund the launch and expansion of a house flipping operation called Bungalo
Amherst Holdings, one of the largest single-family rental entities in the U.S., is putting up $1 billion to back a platform it can use to sell off homes it has flipped. According to a Bloomberg article, Amherst owns or manages roughly 20,000 single-family rentals and is launching a subsidiary called Bungalo to flip properties, selling them at no-haggle prices in the hopes of attracting buyers who want a simpler home buying experience.
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FirstClose gets capital infusion

Tech provider lands multi-million-dollar investment to fuel continued growth
Mortgage technology provider FirstClose has landed funding from Cypress Growth Capital to fuel its mission to capture more market share. While the exact dollar amount was not revealed, FirstClose, which saw its revenue climb 62% last year, said it received a multi-million-dollar investment from the Dallas-based Cypress Growth.
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RealPage completes $100 million acquisition of LeaseLabs

Provider of digital marketing services and software is RealPage’s latest acquisition
RealPage’s $100 million acquisition of LeaseLabs is now complete. The acquisition of LeaseLabs is just the latest for RealPage, a provider of software and data analytics to the real estate industry. This is RealPage’s sixth since January 2017 and pushes the company’s total outlay for its recent expansion past $1 billion.
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