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Tag Archives: European Union

Housing Starts Fall 4.1% as Single-Family Starts Rise

Housing starts declined by 4.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis in December, even while figures for single-family homes climbed year-over-year, offering signs that it may unseat multifamily construction after several months. Single-family housing starts went up 4.4 percent at a seasonally adjusted rate of 470,000, with the December rate for building construction with five units or more hovering around 147,000. Building permits crept forward to an annual rate of 679,000, a 7.8-percent increase year-over-year and 0.1-percent annual increase month-over-month.

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Mortgage Rates Reach New All-Time Lows. Again

Interest rates for mortgage loans plunged to new lows Thursday, as debt crises in Europe continued to weigh heavily on investors. Finance Web site Bankrate.com and mortgage company Freddie Mac released separate surveys signaling all-time lows for mortgage rates. For Freddie, the 30-year fixed-rate loan fell to 3.88 percent, down from 3.89 percent last week. Bankrate.com revealed rates for the 30-year mortgage staying the same at 4.18 percent. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage went up a percentage point for Freddie, reaching 3.17 percent, up from 3.16 percent last week.

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Mortgage Application Volume Jumps 23.1%: MBA

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Mortgage application volume shot up 23.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, largely on a refinancing surge that eclipsed averages year-over-year as investors frittered about Europe. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported the figures in its latest Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey. The trade group├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós Market Composite Index, a measure of application volume, climbed 38.1 percent on a seasonally unadjusted basis from the week before. The Refinance Index accordingly reflected a 26.4-percent increase from the week before to the highest level seen since August last year.

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Fixed-Rate Mortgage Drops to Record 3.69%: Zillow

Mortgage rates slumped to record lows Tuesday. Again. Real estate Web site Zillow released the weekly Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, which it develops by pooling quotes for mortgage rates from online users. The Web site reported the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hitting 3.69 percent this week ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô rock bottom, and a new low for the third straight week. Interest rates for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage hovered around 3.03 percent, all while the figures for 5-year and 1-year adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 2.63 percent.

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Bank Shares Slide on S&P’s Eurozone Downgrades

Stocks and shares for the nation├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós four largest banks slid back Friday on news that ratings agency Standard & Poor's slashed credit ratings for several debt-saddled euro zone countries, including France, Italy, and Spain. A 0.4-percent dip led the Dow Jones Industrial Average to end the day at 12,422 points, a 48.96 loss from the day before. The S&P 500 went south in a 0.5-percent tizzy, losing 6.41 points to close at 1,298. S&P ignited an investor selloff in the markets earlier Friday by announcing credit changes for 16 European countries. S&P slashed U.S. sovereign credit last fall.

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Economy Will Improve With Home Sales, Starts: ABA

Eleven chief economists forecasted Friday that the U.S. economy will continue to improve modestly as job growth steadies, along with easing declines in home prices, sales, and starts. The 11 economists all from banks and members of the American Bankers Association's economic advisory committee said that GDP growth rose to 2.5 percent in 2011. The committee also said home sales and starts could catch an upward draft seen in 2011 that lasts this year, with home prices likely continuing to stagger.

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Home Sales, Housing Markets Will Lift in 2012: Fannie Mae

The economy will drift upward in 2012 as incremental changes take place in the housing market, with a divisive and uncertain policy environment the darkest cloud on the horizon, Fannie Mae said in an economic outlook Friday. Doug Duncan, VP and chief economist with Fannie, offered up the outlook from the GSE's Economics and Mortgage Analysis Group. Fannie Mae said that total home sales could hit 4.7 million in 2012, reflecting a 3.5-percent boost from total sales, new and existing, last year. The forecast said that home sales could reach as many as 5 million come 2013.

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Mortgage Applications Rose 4.5% Last Week: MBA

Mortgage applications shot up 4.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis last week, above averages seen year-over-year but far below gains in overall volume that occurred over the last several months. Releasing the figures in a weekly survey Wednesday, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported mortgage application volume expanding 34.4 percent on a seasonally unadjusted basis. The refinance share of mortgage activity contracted to 80.8 percent of application volume.

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Zillow Sees New Record Lows for Mortgage Rates

Interest rates for the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage smashed new records for Zillow, which reported current rates falling as low as 3.71 percent, the lowest in survey history for the real estate Web site. Zillow found the newest numbers for mortgage rates with Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, which it sources from anonymous quotes and releases weekly. The 30-year fixed-rate loan fell to new lows from 3.73 percent seen last week, and hovered at rates as low as 3.67 percent Monday morning. Zillow reported rates for 15-year loans falling to 3.03 percent.

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Record-Low Mortgage Rates Ring In New Year

Uncertainty in the markets helped ring in the New Year with record lows for mortgage rates, as concerns over debt crises and job growth lingered for wary investors. Finance Web site Bankrate.com and mortgage company Freddie Mac released their findings for mortgage rates Thursday in two separate weekly surveys. Bankrate.com reported interest rates for the 30-year loan hitting a record 4.18 percent this week, down from 4.21 percent last week. Freddie likewise found rates for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage sliding from 3.95 percent last week to 3.91 percent this week.

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