Is the Real Estate Rebound for Real?

For investors, "home" is no longer a four-letter word.

The real-estate sector, for the first time in years, is serving as a beacon of relative strength in an otherwise weak economy. Standard & Poor's on Tuesday reported that home prices in its S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index rose 0.9% in May from the prior month, after adjusting for seasonal trends, and have risen 2.6% since bottoming in January.

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Mid-Atlantic Housing Market: New Distressed Properties Report Examines Strength and Trends

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With the potential for a new ripple of foreclosures and short sales in markets across the country, Metropolitan Regional Information Systems (MRIS) announced the availability of the first in a new series of data reports focused on “distressed” home sales, including short sale, foreclosure and real-estate owned (REO) properties within the Mid-Atlantic region. The goal of the report is to educate both real estate professionals and consumers on meaningful trends in the MRIS market and, also, to establish a baseline for future measurements.

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Plotting a Securitization Sequel

Four years after mortgage-linked deals played a starring role in the worst financial crisis in decades, banks and real-estate investors are at work on a new type of security tied to the housing market.

This time, financial firms are seeking to engineer deals backed by the rental payments of residents living in previously foreclosed homes.

In recent months, firms such as Colony American Homes and Waypoint Homes have snapped up houses in foreclosure and rented them. Backed by investment banks and credit-rating firms, these firms think they have spotted a new opportunity: Packaging thousands of those rental payments into securities...

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