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40 | Th e M Rep o RT o r i g i nat i o n s e r v i c i n g a na ly t i c s s e c o n da r y M a r k e t ORIGINATION the latest accurate group announces support for Fannie Mae's collateral Underwriter AccurAte Group prepAres itself And its clients for the new proGrAm with new trAininG And An updAted workflow system. ohio // In Ohio, Accurate Group announced its support for the imminent release of Fannie Mae's Collateral Underwriter (CU) in the form of enhanced appraisal processes, updates to the company's Valuation Compliance Report (VCR), and training and certification of its appraisal review team. In a release, Accurate Group said it has been in close commu- nication with Fannie Mae ahead of CU's release to lenders and appraisal management companies (AMCs) to ensure the company and its clients are ready. "Our clients rely on us to stay ahead of the compliance curve, so we've been proactively planning for the Fannie Mae CU changes," said Paul Doman, president and CEO of Accurate Group. "We have the processes, technology and team in place to help lenders adhere to the new Fannie Mae requirements and are prepared to make this change a smooth transition for them." In addition to putting its appraisal review team through a series of Fannie Mae train- ing and certification sessions, Accurate Group also modified its review processes to incorpo- rate CU in the workflow, the company said. The firm's Accurate VCR product also received an upgrade and now includes new rules necessary to ensure all hard- stop proprietary messages are addressed before appraisals are submitted. "This is one of the benefits our clients gain by choosing an ap- praisal management and compli- ance company such as Accurate Group, over just a standard AMC," Doman said. "With Accurate Group, compliance is never an afterthought—it is engrained in our business and in every product and service we offer." 2014 Marks second- Best year ever for texas Housing the yeAr ended with A shArp uptick in home sAles in the loAn stAr stAte while prices rose And inventory fell to A record low. texas // Housing in the Lone Star State heated up in the final quarter of 2014, capping off the second-best year for the market in the state's history, accord- ing to data released by a local Realtor group. Using data from mul- tiple listing services in markets throughout the state, the Texas Association of Realtors reported that single-family home sales statewide totaled 66,664 last quarter, an 8.46 percent increase from the same period in 2013. "While many local Texas markets saw dips in home sales volume throughout 2014, the statewide housing market con- tinues to grow year-over-year," said Scott Kesner, association chairman. "The fourth quarter of 2014 marked three-and-a-half years of continual home sales growth for the Lone Star State and the highest annual home sales volume since 2006—a testa- ment to the strong and enduring demand of Texas real estate." The increase marks a sharp turn from 2014's other three quarters, which generally saw 0–2 percent increases on an an- nual basis. "A dip in mortgage interest rates below four percent in the last half of 2014 created an ideal climate for this year-end surge in home sales growth," said Jim Gaines, Ph.D., economist with Texas A&M University's Real Estate Center. "However, fewer homes on the market and strong demand maintained rising, home prices and shrinking months inventory." The group says the median price for a home in the state last quarter was $185,900, a 7.76 percent increase from the prior three months. The average price was up 6.99 percent, meanwhile, to $240,976. At the same time, the state- wide stock of for-sale homes continued to fall, dragging months' supply to an all-time low of 3.3 months, about half the supply Texas A&M's Real Estate Center says is a balanced market of supply and demand. Still, inventory trends are looking better than they were just a few short years ago, when quarterly drops were in the double digits. Looking ahead, Gaines said he expects home sales in the first half of this year will be similar to what the market saw last year, while prices and inventory are projected to continue moving along their current trend lines. "Continued housing demand, especially in Texas' metro areas, will be critical to sustaining our market's strong housing develop- ment in 2015," he added. ORIGINATION local edition

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