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Is There a Hint of Stability in Housing Prices?

January 1st, 2009

On the surface, 2008 seemed to end with more of the same — relentless bad news on the economic front:

It looked like a week only the Grinch could love. But were there perhaps some signs of hope just below the surface? 

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Housing Prices and Mortgage Rates Provide Holiday Hope — For Some

December 26th, 2008

The week leading up to Christmas was relatively free of dramatic developments. With the government having exhausted many of the options at its disposal, there was just a steady drumbeat of continued negative economic news. Meanwhile, mortgage rates slipped down a little further, exploring new record-low territory. Those lower rates take on greater significance with the slide in housing prices looking like it may actually be bottoming out in some areas.

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Mortgage Opportunities from Record Rate Cut

December 16th, 2008

Late yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon, the Federal Reserve slashed its target for the overnight federal funds rate to a range of 0 to 0.25 percent. That may sound like meaningless gobbledygook, but it’s not. It’s an all-time record low. Read the rest of this entry »

After rock bottom comes the bounce

December 15th, 2008

CNN is trailing yet another doom-and-gloom report. This one, which will be out later today, predicts that we’re less than three weeks away from yet another miserably depressing milestone. Read the rest of this entry »

Recession News Might Be Green Light for Mortgage Borrowers

December 4th, 2008

It may only have confirmed what most people already suspected, but the biggest financial news of the week was the official announcement that the United States was already in a recession.

Two very different consequences of the slumping economy could be seen in other news of the week:

While the prospect of unemployment may be enough to give anybody pause, those low mortgage rates should be a green light for many borrowers.

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Trick for Treat: Mortgage Rates Defy Federal Funds Rate Cut

October 30th, 2008

To much fanfare, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates on October 29th. That was supposed to be this week’s Halloween treat for the markets. The trick came the next day, when Freddie Mac’s survey of mortgage rates revealed that 30-year rates had risen sharply for the week. 

So what gives? A clue to why market rates moved contrary to the federal funds rate could be found in two other pieces of news:

For the time being then, despite the Fed’s actions, things got tougher for borrowers rather than easier. This highlights some realities of what the Fed can and cannot do.

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Mortgages Get Cheaper Amid Financial Turmoil

September 18th, 2008

There’s an old saying that it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good. It applied this week, as the whirlwinds on Wall Street had an unexpected benefit for mortgage shoppers.

While mortgage shoppers should not ignore the gathering economic and financial clouds, those lower mortgage rates should remain their primary focus.

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Mortgage Data: Is that a light at the end of the tunnel, or is it a train?

September 4th, 2008

It was enough to make any mortgage observer recall the old joke about the light at the end of the tunnel turning out to be a train. A steady drip of positive news lately was overshadowed by the news that lender GMAC Financial Services was closing 200 retail offices and laying off 5,000 employees. The move was designed to scale back the firm’s mortgage lending presence in reaction to losses in that sector.

Still, while this story grabbed the headlines, home buyers and mortgage shoppers should not lose sight of some of the more positive news:

While the GMAC story was a reminder of why economic recoveries can take so long to develop, the underlying fundamentals suggest that conditions may be getting better for the housing market.

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Positive GDP News a Wake-Up Call for Home and Mortgage Shoppers

August 28th, 2008

An unexpectedly strong revision of second quarter gross domestic product (GDP) stood out amid an otherwise mixed bag of economic news of interest to home and mortgage shoppers.

In fact, this strong GDP number should be something of a wake-up call, or a call-to-action, for anyone who has been putting off buying a house. It may not pay to delay any further before starting to look for a house and compare mortgage companies.

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Highlights, Lowlights, and Reading Between the Lines of Mortgage News

July 31st, 2008

Mortgage news was dominated by two items this week:

On the surface, the first would seem to be a highlight, and the second a lowlight, of the week’s mortgage and housing news. Reading between the lines, though, reveals that the first item may not be as good as it’s been reported, but the second item may not be as bad.

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