Mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae could get a little smaller following the announcement this week that they will be forming a joint company to securitize mortgage loans. The change is seen as a step toward reducing the government’s involvement in the mortgage industry, according to media reports. Read more in the Chicago Tribune.

In other news:

Home prices finally returning to normal – CNN

U.S. home prices rose by most in nearly 7 years Chicago Sun-Times