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Tag Archives: Debt Crisis

As Student Debt Rises, Would-Be Homeowners Forced to Choose

In a February survey of nearly 2,000 homebuyers, Redfin found that 16 percent of first-timers (who made up about half of the total survey group) have been held back from purchasing in the past by student loan debts. Out of all homebuyers surveyed, one-third said student debt had led them to put off purchasing for one to two years, while slightly less than that said they had to delay for four years or more.

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Washington Gridlock Spells Quiet Week for Mortgage Rates

Fixed mortgage rates held more or less steady this week as Capitol Hill remained locked in debate over budgetary concerns. According to data in Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.23 percent (0.7 point) for the week ending October 10, just up from 4.22 percent last week. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.39 percent. Meanwhile, Bankrate.com recorded a fifth consecutive week of declines for fixed rates in its weekly national survey.

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Clear Capital: ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Could Send Prices Tumbling

Recent gains in housing are closely linked to rising consumer confidence, according to numbers juxtaposed and analyzed by Clear Capital in its latest report on home price movements. The feeble underpinnings of price increases, however, could soon topple, according to the real estate valuation company. Threatening to temper consumer sentiment--and in turn, home prices--is the fear Congress will not act in time to avert the looming "fiscal cliff" of $500 billion in tax increases and spending cuts that lie in wait at year-end, Clear Capital warns.

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As Asking Prices Rise, Foreign Buyer Activity Falls

Higher asking prices drove off foreign homebuyers and investors over the last year, with real estate firm citing a 10 percent decline in foreign interest for the U.S. housing market. Releasing its International House Hunter Report Thursday, Trulia found that asking prices rose 0.3 percent year-over-year, nixing helpful influence from still-falling home prices. The housing bust attracted a number of foreign and cash buyers interested in low prices and the safe haven of U.S. real estate investment, according to Trulia.

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Mortgage Rates Streak Past Records to Hit New Lows

Lingering worries about the European debt crisis continue to drive investors to U.S. government bonds, sending fixed mortgage rates down to another record low. According to Freddie Mac├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.49 percent (0.7 point) for the week ending July 26, down from 3.53 percent the previous week. At the same time in 2011, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.55 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages actually saw a small boost, with the 5-year ARM averaging 2.74 percent (0.6 point), an increase from 2.69 percent the previous week.

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Thirty-Year Loan Slides to New Low Amid Downgrades

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage slid to 3.35 percent, setting a new low for Zillow, as Europe braced for another wave of credit downgrades. The real estate Web site found the 15-year home loan averaging 2.8 percent, while interest rates for 5-year and 1-year adjustable-rate mortgages each hovered at 2.52 percent. She added that Zillow expects mortgage rates to remain near record lows as investors keep watch on economic stability in Europe. Mortgage rates zigzagged lower across the country, falling by as much as 10 basis points in Florida.

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Fed: U.S. Economy Faces Headwinds Far and Near

Speaking before Congress Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke predicted a slow and fragile economic recovery in the United States, one that is vulnerable to financial markets abroad as well as fiscal policy at home. Amid the uncertain economic atmosphere, the Federal Reserve will continue its maturity extension program through the end of this year. The program calls for the Fed to purchase short-term Treasury securities and long-term Treasury securities of equal amounts. Bernanke said that the housing market reveals modest recovery.

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