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DID YOU KNOW? The vacancy rate at regional and super-regional malls was 9% in the 4th quarter of 2018, based on a survey released Thursday by Reis of 77 metropolitan areas across the country. That’s down from 9.1% - a 7-year high - in the 3rd quarter, but up from 8.3% at the end of 2017. That’s also above a 10-year average vacancy rate for these malls of 8.4% during the 4th quarter. (CNBC)

DID YOU KNOW? More than 26% of mortgage borrowers who used Federal Housing Administration-insured loans got assistance from a relative to make the down payment in the 12 months through September, up from about 22% in 2011. While conventional mortgages can require buyers to put down as much as 20% of the purchase price upfront, FHA buyers can pay as little as 3.5%. Such loans make up around 10% of all U.S. home-loan originations, a share that has declined in recent years. The credit score of the average FHA borrower declined to 670, the lowest level since 2008. Credit-reporting firm Experian considers scores under 670 subprime. (WSJ)



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