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mortgage rates

May 16, 2012

Housing starts rose to 717,000 in April

WASHINGTON — U.S. builders started work on more homes and apartments last month and requested more permits to build single-family homes. The increases suggest the battered housing market is healing. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that builders broke ground in April at a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 717,000 homes. That’s a 2.6 percent increase […]

Apr 12, 2012

Mortgage rates drop close to all-time lows

WASHINGTON — The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage dropped near its all-time low this week, making home buying and refinancing a bargain for those who can qualify. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30-year loan fell to 3.88 percent from 3.98 percent. That’s just above the rate of […]

Mar 22, 2012

Rate on 30-year mortgages jumps above 4 percent

WASHINGTON — The average U.S. rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage rose above 4 percent for the first time in five months. The sharp increase suggests the window to buy or refinance a home at historically low rates is closing. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30-year loan jumped to […]

Mar 20, 2012

Builders start fewer homes but permits jump

WASHINGTON — U.S. builders are betting that the housing market is finally on the path back to health. They requested 5 percent more permits in February to build single-family homes and apartments in the coming months. That increased the annual rate to a seasonally adjusted 717,000 permits, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. While that’s still […]

Mar 19, 2012

Home builders optimistic about future

WASHINGTON — Homebuilders’ feelings about the current housing market haven’t changed from February. But many are growing more optimistic that sales could pick up in the coming months. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo said Monday that its builder sentiment index stayed at 28, the highest level since June 2007. The flat reading followed […]

Feb 22, 2012

Home sales at highest level since May 2010

WASHINGTON — The housing market is flashing signs of health ahead of the spring-buying season. Sales of previously occupied homes are at their highest level since May 2010. More first-time buyers are making purchases. And the supply of homes fell last month to its lowest point in nearly seven years, which could push home prices […]

Jan 18, 2012

Buyer interest leaves homebuilders less gloomy

WASHINGTON — U.S. homebuilders are growing a little less pessimistic about the depressed housing market after seeing more people say they might be open to buying a home this year. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index rose four points to 25 in January. That’s the highest level since June 2007. Even […]

Jan 11, 2012

Bumpy earnings season ahead for banks

NEW YORK  — You can usually tell a lot about the health of the U.S. economy by looking at the financial results of banks. They’re the people who finance new factories, plant expansions and fatter payrolls. But don’t count on that over the next two weeks, when banks report their results from the last three […]

Dec 30, 2011

Real Estate Weekly – 12/30/11: Annapolis Towne Centre leasing

Wedding chapel for sale (AP) A 19th-century stone mansion and wedding chapel are for sale in Elkton, a town once known for its marriage business. Frank and Barbara Smith told The Baltimore Sun they’re ready to retire. They hope a buyer will retain the chapel, but with the Cecil County courthouse across the street, it […]

Dec 29, 2011

Contract signings for U.S. homes up in November

WASHINGTON — The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes in November rose to the highest level in a year and a half. The best reading on pending homes sales since a federal home-buying tax credit expired appeared to encourage traders on Wall Street. Still, the National Association of Realtors cautioned that a […]

Dec 27, 2011

Survey: Home prices down in most major U.S. cities

WASHINGTON — U.S. home prices fell in most major cities for the second straight month, further evidence that the housing recovery will be bumpy and weigh on the broader economy in 2012. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index released Tuesday showed prices dropped in October from September in 19 of the 20 cities tracked. The decline […]

Nov 28, 2011

Sales of new homes up in October, but prices fall

WASHINGTON — Americans bought slightly more new homes in October, a hopeful sign for the troubled housing market. But the median sales price fell to its lowest level of the year, and the overall sales pace is trailing last year’s — the worst in half a century. The report suggests housing continues to drag on […]

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