April, 2012

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THE PULSE Residential Real Estate Recap Numbers from February's Residential Real Estate Indicators report reveal the state of the nation's housing markets to start 2012. F rom Main Street to Wall Street to the campaign trail, predicting the 2012 housing and mortgage markets has become a pastime in recent months. In Washington, D.C., Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke tried to focus on the positive, opening his March remarks to House lawmakers by emphasizing increasing levels of home affordability around the country, but other politicians and EXISTING HOME SALES Single Family: 4,050,000 Inventory: 2,060,000 Months' Supply: 6.1 Median Sales Price: 154,400 economists aren't ready to see the silver lining to the nation's continuing real estate recovery. In his address, Bernanke fielded tough questions from members of the House Financial Services Committee, with Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Illinois) asking the Fed's leader to clarify the economic impact of taxpayer- funded guarantees for residential mortgages. Bernanke's reply was tactical but not particularly NEW HOME SALES Single Family: 321,000 Months' Supply: 5.6 Median Sales Price: 217,100 HOUSING STARTS Total: 699,000 Single Family: 508,000 revealing as he noted that an oversized role for government agencies in mortgage markets is "obviously not healthy" for the economy. Other key inquiries made by lawmakers included questions re- garding ongoing regulation rou- lette related to the Dodd-Frank Act and banks' credit standards for lending, but for industry professionals, the chief concern remains obvious: How will the MORTGAGE LOANS New Applications: +14.5 percent Average 30-Fixed Rate: 3.9 percent Average 1-Year Adjustable Rate: 2.8 percent turmoil among government of- ficials, financial institutions, and borrowers affect the marketplace? While there are no simple answers to that looming ques- tion, a look at January's housing and mortgage market statistics may shed some light on the year ahead. This month, "The Pulse" examines Standard & Poor's Residential Real Estate Indicators survey to gain insight into the current state of 2012 real estate. CONSUMER CONFIDENCE Consumer Confidence Index: 61.5 Consumers Planning to Purchase a Home in Six Months or Less: 4.3 percent Consumers Planning to Purchase an Existing Home in Six Months or Less: 2.8 percent STATISTICS INFORMATION: All data representative of findings from January 2012. Sources include S&P Indices, Fiserv, Experian, Global Insight, National Association of Realtors, Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Census Bureau, Mortgage Bankers Association, U.S. Commerce Department, the Conference Board, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Reserve Board. CONSUMER CREDIT DEFAULT INDICES [S&P/EXPERIAN] First Mortgage Default Rate: 2.08 percent Second Mortgage Default Rate: 1.3 percent 18 | THE M REPORT

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