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Tag Archives: Attorneys & Title Companies

Single-Family Permits, Starts Up in August

Led by the strongest gain for single-family construction this, year, the pace of housing starts edged up 0.9 percent in August, the Census Bureau and HUD reported Wednesday. Builders broke ground in August on new homes at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 891,000--up from a revised 883,000 in July--and filed for permits at the seasonally adjusted annual rate of 918,000, down from 954,000 in July. The gain in both single-family permits and starts came amid signs of improving builder confidence.

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Commentators Measure Progress Five Years After Crash

President Obama spoke to the nation Monday--one day after the five-year anniversary of the Lehman Brothers collapse that kicked off the financial crisis--to tout the progress the country has made and to urge Republicans to action as a potential government shutdown looms. The president wasn't the only one to speak--other current and former government officials and analysts offered their own commentary on the country's circumstances, and not all of it was charitable.

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Study: Low Deposit Rates Offsetting Favorable Mortgage Rates

New research from finance information website MoneyRates.com suggests borrowers may not be benefitting from low mortgage interest rates as much as other analysts say. The first figures from the site's new Consumers Lost Interest Percentage (CLIP) Index show the difference between what consumers earn on one-month certificate of deposit (CD) rates and what they spend on 30-year mortgage rates is now 4.4 percent, nearly 55 percent higher than the 40-year average of 2.83 percent.

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Home Prices Up 0.7% in July as Foreclosure Sales Decline

price

FNC's Residential Price Index (RPI) closed in on a three-year high in July as discounted foreclosure sales approached pre-crisis levels. "The rapid declines in foreclosure sales and new foreclosure filings have diminished the impact of distressed properties on home prices," FNC said in its monthly release. "Meanwhile, steadily rising home prices and an expectation of continued recovery have stimulated housing turnover by prospective buyers who are in a position to take advantage of affordable home prices."

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Report: Jobs Recovery to Drive Up Home Prices

Even as housing inventory starts to recover, the basic fundamentals of supply and demand--as measured by new starts versus job growth across the nation--point to continued price growth, according to one expert at John Burns Real Estate Consulting. Nationally, the employment growth-to-permit (E/P) ratio is 2.5, up from 2.3 last year and well above the "equilibrium level" of 1.2. Eighteen of the top 20 markets have an E/P ratio higher than the equilibrium.

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Consumer Sentiment Weakens in Preliminary September Report

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment fell to a five-month low of 76.8 in September's preliminary report, spelling a potentially weak third quarter for consumption growth. The decline in overall sentiment was largely due to a drop in the Expectations Index, which measures consumer confidence for the next six months. That index fell to an eight-month low of 67.2. Meanwhile, the Current Conditions Index fell to 91.8.

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