Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thursday - February 27

The foreclosure sector of the housing market continues to receive positive news. CoreLogic reported today that there were 48,000 completed foreclosures in January 2014, compared to the 59,000 completed in January 2013, a 19% decline. From December to January, completed foreclosures declined by 11.8%. CoreLogic said that we are recovering, but we're not there yet.
Americans filing for first time unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose in the latest week, but it doesn't signal a negative trend as claims tend to be volatile around federal holidays. The Labor Department reported that Weekly Initial Jobless Claims rose by 14,000 in the latest week to 348,000, above the 335,000 expected. The four week moving average of claims, which irons out seasonal abnormalities, was unchanged at 338,250.
Mortgage finance company Freddie Mac earned a record $48.7 billion in 2013, which was helped out in part by rising home prices. Freddie will be sending the U.S. Treasury a $10.4 billion dividend payment and has now paid back all of the bailout money received from the Treasury during the financial crisis. Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are required to turn over any profits to the Treasury.

Foreclosures continue to decline. Unemployment claims rise. Freddie Mac reports record 2013 earnings.

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