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Kentucky Goes Live with E-recording Using Simplifile
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc., a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, today announced that Kentucky has become the latest state to adopt e-recording and join Simplifile’s network.
Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey
Mortgage applications increased 30.2 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 10, 2020. Last week's results included an adjustment for the New Year's Day holiday.
Housing Starts Finish 2019 Strong
Total housing starts increased 16.9 percent in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.61 million units, according to a report from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development and Commerce Department. This is a 13-year high for housing starts.
Three Indicted in Warranty-Deed Fraud Conspiracy
A federal grand jury has indicted Laura R. Johnson, 44, Thomas Johnson, Sr., 51, and Cheryl M. Ashley, 69, all of Oklahoma City, for conspiracy, fraud, identity theft, and other crimes, based on allegations that they used fraudulent legal documents to take ownership of more than a dozen homes without the consent or knowledge of the actual owners, announced U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Downing.
Builder Confidence Begins Year Strong as Single-Family Growth Continues
Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes edged one point lower to 75 in January, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released today. The last two monthly readings mark the highest sentiment levels since July of 1999.

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December New Home Purchase Mortgage Applications Increased 38.7 Percent
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Builder Application Survey (BAS) data for December 2019 shows mortgage applications for new home purchases increased 38.7 percent compared to December 2018. Compared to November 2019, applications decreased by 5 percent.
Stewart Title President Matthew Morris Announces His Departure
Stewart Information Services Corporation announced today that Matthew Morris, President and former Chief Executive Officer, announced his departure effective Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020.
Notarize and Stewart Title Announce Partnership to Bring Hybrid and Fully Online Closings to Thousands of Agents
Notarize, the most trusted platform for legal online notarization and the first company to enable an entirely online real estate closing process today announced a partnership with Stewart Title, a family of companies offering global title, settlement and escrow services, that will give its direct offices and independent agents the ability to offer fully online and hybrid closings powered by Notarize.
Waning Affordability Contributes to Slower Job Growth
Metro areas where affordability has worsened over the last five years have seen a decline in job growth during that same period.
ALTA Honors Texas Member with National Title Professional Recognition
John C. Martin CAEP, CTIP, NTP has earned his National Title Professional(NTP) designation from theAmerican Land Title Association(ALTA), the national trade association of the land title insurance industry.
Ex-Fannie Mae Employee Gets Over 6 Years in Prison for Bribery Scheme with Millions of Dollars in Corrupt Commissions and Sales
A former Fannie Mae employee was sentenced today to 76 months in federal prison for a multimillion-dollar scheme to take bribes and to discount sales of Fannie Mae-owned properties to herself and to real estate brokers in exchange for cash kickbacks.
Coalition to Stop Real Estate Wire Fraud Announces RynohLive as New Partner
The Coalition to Stop Real Estate Wire Fraudhas announced that RynohLivehas joined as the Coalition’s latest partner in the battle against mortgage closing scams and real estate wire fraud. Founded by theAmerican Land Title Association, the Coalition provides education about the growing threat of these scams and offers tips to help consumers protect their money during the homebuying process.
Realtors® Announce Partnership with Census Bureau in Promotion of 2020 Census
The United States Census Bureau has designated the National Association of Realtors® as a National Partner for the upcoming 2020 Census. With the Bureau seeking to enlist the support of various national organizations, NAR is asking the 1.4 million Realtors® nationwide to help drive Census participation in their respective communities.
Florida Title Agents Can Now Earn CE Credits Using Mobile App Via Real Estate Law Series
Florida title agents and attorneys can now earn continuing education credits through Real Estate Law Series (RELS) via the free mobile learning app Moodle.
Fourth Quarter Good Time to Buy and Sell Home, Realtor® Survey Says
More than half of Americans recently polled believe that now is a good time to make a home purchase, according to the latest consumer findings from the National Association of Realtors®.
NAR Leader Joins President Trump as Proposal to Modernize, Strengthen NEPA Is Announced
National Association of REALTORS® President Vince Malta on Thursday joined President Trump at the White House as the administration unveiled its proposal to reform the National Environmental Policy Act. As affordability issues continue to plague markets across the country, NAR has argued that reforms to scale back undue regulatory burdens while retaining strong environmental quality standards will help alleviate housing inventory constraints.
Mortgage Applications Decreased Over Two Week Period in Latest MBA Weekly Survey
Mortgage applications decreased 1.5 percent from two weeks earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 3, 2020.
Realtor® Leaders Meet with Secretary Carson, Pass Sweeping New Fair Housing Action Plan
Leadership from the National Association of Realtors® met with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and other senior Department officials on Wednesday in Washington to discuss fair housing issues just hours after unanimously passing a new plan to tackle the issue.
Galactic Mathematics Helps States Title Disrupt 143-Year Old Industry
States Title Holding, Inc., one of the top ten largest real estate settlement service companies in the United States, was issued a patent for “Predictive Machine Learning Models”by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on December 17, 2019. The company can now find the “sweet spot” for automated title processing in its first-of-its-kind title insurance algorithm.
ClosingCorp Acquires WESTvm Ordering Technology
ClosingCorp®, a leading provider of residential real estate closing cost data and technology for the mortgage and real estate services industries, and WEST, a Williston Financial Group Company and leading provider of technology and services to REALTORS®, brokers, title companies and mortgage lenders, announced today that ClosingCorp has acquired WESTvm, an innovative order management solution, from WEST.
Stewart Title Adds Staff in Massachusetts State
Stewart Title’s Agency Services in Massachusetts announced the addition of four new staff to the Massachusetts market, adding two Underwriting Counsels and two Senior Agency Services Representatives. The addition of these industry veterans is in response to the growing demand and positive outlook across the state.
First American Expands Ownership Interest and Acquires Title Security Agency, LLC
First American Financial Corporation, a leading global provider of title insurance, settlement services and risk solutions for real estate transactions, today announced it has fully acquired Title Security Agency, LLC, a premier brand within the Arizona real estate community with a track record of providing superior customer service that spans four decades.
HUD Releases 2019 Year in Review Highlighting Accomplishments under Secretary Carson
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today released its 2019 Year in Review outlining the major accomplishments of the agency under Secretary Ben Carson.
National Statistics and Trends Can Augment Local Multifamily Appraisals: The Appraisal Journal
Opinions of value can recognize both local and national indicators when appraisers value multifamily rental properties, according to an article published this week in The Appraisal Journal.
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