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Articles tagged with: interest rates

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[22 Oct 2011 | No Comment | 1,906 views]
Will 2013 be the year?

Economists have been making predictions for the past few years about when the United States might realistically see an economic recovery.
Those who follow projections for long enough can, fortunately, pick up on bits and pieces of data that – taken together – start to paint a realistic picture. Back in July, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard talked about a concept he called the “bubble economy.”
Bullard said, in essence, there are two economies to track – the fundamental economy which grows at 1.75 percent of our gross …

Business, News, Real Estate »

[9 Sep 2011 | 2 Comments | 2,483 views]
What low interest rates really mean

We’ve heard it for the past couple of years – interest rates are near record lows, so you can save a pile of money if you buy a home now.
That sounds good, of course, but what does that actually mean to the average consumer? Let’s demonstrate how, exactly, those low interest rates can benefit home buyers. We’ll start with a mortgage for $150,000 and compare some interest rates.
Just a few years ago, an interest rate of 6.25 percent was considered quite low. That $150,000 mortgage – back then – would …

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[26 Aug 2011 | One Comment | 1,932 views]
Central Arkansas homes sales up, too

Just last week, we at First Arkansas News posted an article showing that homes sales in northwest Arkansas were up in July compared to the same month a year ago but sales prices were down.
The numbers from central Arkansas are in and the results are pretty much the same. Indeed, sales were up considerably in July in Faulkner, Grant, Lonoke, Pulaski and Saline counties in that 716 homes were sold in July — an increase of 21.56 percent over 589 sales a year ago, but 15.47 percent down from 847 …

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[20 Aug 2011 | 7 Comments | 16,147 views]
Low interest rates contribute to increase in refinance loans

The national Mortgage Bankers Association reports that the demand for purchase mortgages has remained little changed throughout the summer, but refinance mortgages are a different breed of cat.
Over the past few months, the demand for refinance mortgages has grown. A lot of it has to do with interest rates. Those dropped to the lowest point this year in the first week of August – the rate on a 30-year, fixed mortgage averaged 4.37 percent on Aug 5 while the rate on a 15-year mortgage was 3.52 percent.
Those rates, the Mortgage …

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[25 Jun 2011 | 5 Comments | 3,140 views]
Mortgage applications up at the first of June

It appears that low interest rates are bringing prospective buyers back to the real estate market.
In April 2008, the federal government started handing out tax credits to first-time home buyers. That program expanded to include repeat buyers. By the time it ended at the end of April last year, qualified first-time buyers could receive up to $8,000 and repeat buyers could get up to $6,500.
Buyers were initially instructed to get homes under contract before May 1 and close on them prior to July 1. That resulted in a flurry of …

Business, News, Real Estate »

[17 Jan 2011 | No Comment | 2,533 views]
December home sales up in northwest Arkansas

Considering how homes sales across Arkansas slumped in the second half of 2010, here’s a bit of a surprise — sales were up in northwest Arkansas in December.
According to statistics pulled from Arkansas Regional MLS (ARMLS), there were 456 homes sold in December in Benton, Carroll, Madison and Washington counties — up 10.68 percent from 412 sales during the same month in 2009.
Sales in northwest Arkansas — and just about everywhere else — have been in decline since tax credits for home buyers expired in April. Specifically, sales fell sharply …

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[15 Jan 2011 | One Comment | 1,531 views]
Comparing ‘apples to apples’ in the housing market

Comparing housing market numbers has been a bit of a chore over the past few months as results from 2008 through the first part of 2010 have been skewed.
Let me explain. From April 2008 through April 2010, tax credits were available for home buyers. Economists have, in general, agreed that the tax credits increased demand for homes. During that two-year period, then, sales were well above what they would have been had the tax credits not been in place.
Additionally, the demand present during those two years was – in a …

News »

[26 Dec 2010 | One Comment | 1,293 views]
The week in review

So, did everyone have a good Christmas? Was Santa good to everyone?
We at First Arkansas News sure hope so and well understand that the festivities of the season may have kept some people from checking in here and picking up the latest news. In case you missed anything, we’ve provided this handy review of the stories we’ve had for the past week. Yay!
Before getting into that, however, it’s time to plug the easy ways to keep up with this little site. We’ve got email updates, an RSS feed and new …

Business, News, Real Estate »

[25 Dec 2010 | One Comment | 4,329 views]
What’s going on with mortgage rates these days?

It seems that both home buyers and mortgage bankers have been trying all year long to figure out something – how long will interest rates remain low?
That’s a good question, of course, because low mortgage rates translate into low payments on home loans. Low rates mean your average buyer can afford a more expensive home than he or she might be able to under ordinary circumstances.
And, yes, we’ve been living under extraordinary circumstances for the better part of the year. According to Mortgage-x.com, the national average rate on a 30-year, …

Business, News, Real Estate »

[11 Oct 2010 | 2 Comments | 1,539 views]
Tax credits for buyers are over, but it’s not the end of the world

Over the past couple of months, we’ve seen declines in homes sales and everyone from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to economists on television have attributed the drops to the end of tax credits for first-time and repeat buyers.
That’s not hard to understand. The federal government started offering tax credits to home buyers in April 2008 and the final set of credits expired at the end of April this year. It just makes sense that sales would drop after tax credits – some offering up to $8,000 cash back …