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Foreclosures weaken home prices in Q1

Senate bills would remove some of banks' incentives to foreclose

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Editor's note: This article is republished with permission of Builder magazine. View the original article: "Foreclosures continue to take toll on pricing." By CLAIRE EASLEY Foreclosures continued to drag housing prices downward in March and during the first quarter of the year, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) house-price index. The index, which pulls its data from Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-acquired mortgages, posted a 0.3 percent decline from February and a drop of 2.5 percent between the fourth quarter of 2010 and the first quarter of 2011. These numbers are somewhat skewed, however, by a recent change in how FHFA calculates the data. Without the change, March's numbers would have remained flat and the quarterly change would have represented a slightly steeper decline of 3 percent. With declines reported in nearly every area of the country, all eyes continue to be on the foreclosure market and its pending shadow inventory. Striking a hopeful tone, ...