Following is the text of the Housing Opportunity Index from the National Association of Home Builders. The number of improving housing markets continued to expand for a sixth consecutive month to a total of 259 metropolitan areas on the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) for February, released today. This is up from 242 markets listed as improving in January, and includes entrants from all 50 states and the District of the Columbia. The IMI identifies metro areas that have shown improvement from their respective troughs in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six consecutive months. A total of 20 new metros were added to the list and three were dropped from it this month. Newly added metros include such geographically diverse locations as Rome, Ga.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Albuquerque, N.M.; and Racine, Wis. “The fact that all 50 states now have at least one metro on the improving list shows that the
Title insurers are in talks with banks and regulators to obtain warranties from lenders assuring they followed proper procedures before selling foreclosed homes, said Kurt Pfotenhauer , head of the insurers’ trade group.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. , Bank of America Corp. and Ally Financial Inc., defending allegations of fraudulent home foreclosures from customers and Congress, may face the most financial peril from investigations by state attorneys general.
When Tom Strange, a retired computer engineer in Henderson, Nevada, refinanced his mortgage last year, he rejected the $1,870 title insurance offered by his mortgage broker. Searching online, he cut the cost by half.
Merscorp Inc. , the firm that tracks documents for U.S. home lenders, named former CitiMortgage Inc. chairman Bill Beckmann as president and chief executive officer, the company said today in a statement on its website.