Risky Business

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local edition S e c on da r y M a r k e t a na ly t ic s se r v ic i ng or ig i nat ion ANALYTICS associated with completing loan modifications if it can help keep a borrower in place and preserve an existing energy lease." Up to 25 percent of the oil, gas, and mineral leasehold properties in the country may be in danger of losing their leases unnecessarily, Horne noted. In order to prevent that, he said "the time is ideal for bringing the oil and gas community together with the mortgage industry for the benefit of all." "We're in an environment where there is much riding on the success of the oil and gas industry at making us less dependent on foreign energy and on the long-term health of the housing finance system," he said. "Wingspan can help both sides achieve their goals, while enhancing these essential and strategic segments of the economy for generations to come." percent from the same period in 2012. Statewide, a total of 2,542 transactions were completed in January and February, down from 2,577 last year. However, the current state of inventory does have one upside. "With such low inventory, we're seeing bidding wars— homes selling above the asking price," Warren said. "As prices rise, more sellers begin to list their property, which in turn pumps up sales volume." According to the Warren Group, the median price for a single-family home in condos sold statewide in February decreased nearly 10 percent in $139,516, down from $155,000 in the same month last year. Mortgage Fraud Index fell to its lowest level in nearly five years billion the prior year. The fourth quarter's dollar amount was the lowest since 2011. While the decline in fraud might seem promising, Mortgage Daily founder Sam Garcia says it's unlikely to last. "Preliminary data indicates that mortgage fraud case activity during the first quarter of this year was up around 25 percent from the fourth quarter," Garcia said. In terms of dollar amount of loans involved in fraud, California posted a decline from the third quarter, when it ranked No. 1. The Golden State dropped Connecticut rose to $225,000 from $210,000 in February 2012—a 7 percent increase. The year-to-date median home price is up about the same amount. Condominium sales also experienced a decrease in February, dropping to their lowest level in two years. There were 306 condo sales throughout Connecticut in February, down almost 11 percent year-over-year. While single-family prices got a boost as a result of low inventory, the same was not true for condominiums. The median price for in Q 4 2012, but the drop may just be a temporary dip. The fraud index read 758 in the fourth quarter, down from 1,017 in Q 3 and 1,141 in Q 4 2011. According to Mortgage Daily, the fourth-quarter index reading was the lowest since first-quarter 2008. The number of cases tracked fell to 105—the lowest level since at least 2007. In Q 3, there were 141 cases, while Q 4 2011 saw 171 cases. Meanwhile, the dollar amount on fraud cases dropped to approximately $1.3 billion, down from $1.7 billion in Q 3 and $1.8 slightly in the ranks to the No. 2 spot, while Florida—which didn't appear among the five worstranked states in Q 3—took the top spot with about $246.9 million. As far as their index readings go, California and Florida both tied at 97. The index is put together using data from FraudBlogger. com. While suspicious activity reports and other risk measures gauge fraud that may have happened or could happen, Mortgage Daily's index tracks only proven cases. Mortgage Fraud Slips in Q4 Florida takes the top spot when it comes to fraudulent activities in the fourth quarter. FLORIDA // Mortgage Daily's Connecticut Feels Sting of Inventory Shortage The Warren Group sees a decline in sales in the Constitution State as supply falls. CONNECTICUT // Markets around the country suffered from inventory shortage in February, and Connecticut was no exception, according to data from the Warren Group. The real estate data provider's February report shows singlefamily home sales dropped 7.7 percent year-over-year in the Constitution State, decreasing to 1,149. The decline puts an end to a 13-month streak of year-overyear sales improvements. "Two factors caused this modest drop in February: low inventory and a comparison with a strong previous year of sales," said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of the Warren Group. "Even so, I'm still hopeful for a strong spring market. As more sellers list their homes in the spring, activity will pick back up." Year-to-date, single-family home sales are down almost 2 66 | The M Report

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