The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas gained 5.5 percent in September on a year-over-year basis compared with 5.1 percent in the year to August. With unemployment at 5 percent and hints of higher inflation in the CPI, most analysts expect the Federal Reserve to raise its fed funds target range to 25 to 50 basis points, the first increase since 2006," said David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "While this will make news, it is not likely to push mortgage rates far above the recent level of 4 percent on 30 year conventional loans.
(Reuters) - Austin Kiplinger, a journalist who took over the financial publishing firm founded by his father and helped create the first magazine devoted to personal finance for U.S. families, has died at age 97, his company said in a statement on Saturday. Austin Kiplinger's father, W.M. Kiplinger, in 1920 founded Kiplinger Washington Editors Inc, which today produces the magazine Kiplinger Personal Finance, the business forecast publication The Kiplinger Letter and the Kiplinger Tax Letter.
(Reuters) - The Federal Reserve expects to raise U.S. interest rates only gradually in part to protect the housing market and avoid a "sharp" rise in mortgage rates, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Wednesday.
The US housing market, a bright spot in the economy, showed resilient growth in September as existing-home sales rebounded even as tight supply and rising home prices curb demand. Sales of previously owned homes jumped 4.7 percent to an annual rate of 5.55 million units with gains seen in all four major regions of the country, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said Thursday. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, highlighted incentives such as a slight moderation in home prices in some markets and mortgage rates holding near historic lows below four percent.
Lower mortgage rates are contributing to strong growth in household borrowing, particularly in Ontario and British Columbia, but the housing market and debt levels should stabilize as the economy gains strength, the Bank of Canada said on Wednesday. As part of its Monetary Policy Report, the central bank reiterated that housing market activity across regions is characterized by a "trifurcation", with the commodity-sensitive provinces weakening, the west coast and Ontario maintaining its strength, and activity in the rest of the country soft. The lower cost of debt is also supporting other forms of consumer credit growth and spending, with consumption resilient despite the hit to incomes from lower commodity prices, the bank said.
Home buyers returned from summer vacations to lower mortgage rates and increasing rents, and may have moved back into the market after staying away in August. The NAHB (National Association of Homebuilders) housing market index measuring seller sentiment is due out Monday, to be followed during the week by data that includes building permits and housing starts, mortgages, and home prices and sales. Strength in June and July housing data may have boosted investor expectations to unrealistic levels for August, typically a slower month for housing, according to Susan Maklari, housing equities analyst at UBS in New York.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week after a sharp drop the previous week, as global markets continued to whipsaw amid economic disruption in China and uncertainty over Federal Reserve interest-rate policy.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates dropped this week to their lowest levels since May, in a week marked by turmoil in global markets that was stoked by economic developments in China.
Sales of existing homes in the United States rose for the third straight month in July, holding at the highest pace since 2007, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. Sales of previously owned single-family homes rose 2.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.59 million, the strongest level since February 2007, about nine months before the US economy entered the Great Recession. "The creation of jobs added at a steady clip and the prospect of higher mortgage rates and home prices down the road is encouraging more households to buy now," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, in a statement.
Spending less than we make is often cited as the most important personal finance goal. It helps us get out of debt, save for emergencies, and stash money away for retirement. It's the primary habit that ...
By Andrea Hopkins TORONTO (Reuters) - Sales of existing homes in Canada fell in June from May as a decline in sales in Ottawa and Montreal outweighed increases in the Toronto area, but national prices continued to rise, the Canadian Real Estate Association said on Wednesday. The industry group for Canadian real estate agents said sales activity was down 0.8 percent last month from May, but noted that sales levels in May and June were at the strongest level in more than five years. "After a tough winter across many parts of the country, homebuyers were very active through the spring and early summer, with record low mortgage rates providing a boost," Robert Kavcic, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, said in a research note.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week, retreating from high levels for the year amid economic turbulence overseas. The lower rates brought an incentive for prospective purchasers toward the end of the spring home buying season.
German e-commerce investor Rocket Internet won shareholder approval on Tuesday to raise as much as 4.5 billion euros ($5 billion) in the next five years to invest in new ventures and increase stakes in its existing start-ups. Europe's largest Internet company, founded in 2007, is viewed as a potential launch pad for future stock market listings of everything from online fashion to home furnishings and personal finance. It already has holdings in more than 100 start-ups and has big expansion plans for which it needs more cash.
By Jonathan Spicer NEW YORK (Reuters) - The sharp bond market selloff is starting to pinch American consumers and companies, causing a mild economic tightening that, if sustained, could raise alarms at the Federal Reserve and even delay a plan to hike interest rates in coming months. U.S. mortgage rates have reached their highest level in a year-and-a-half, auto loans are getting a bit more expensive, and corporations across the board have seen their borrowing costs jump as U.S. and European debt retrenched in recent weeks. With benchmark U.S. government debt having jumped from 2.13 percent to as high as 2.49 percent so far this month, Fed officials headed into a policy meeting next week will be asking how long the selloff could last -- and how much it could slow the economic rebound from a winter slump.
South Africa's biggest insurer, Sanlam, reported on Wednesday a 17 percent jump in earnings for the first four months of this year as its personal finance division sales grew. Sanlam, which also has operations in Nigeria and 10 other African countries, said sales of its personal finance rose by 20 percent and new business grew by 15 percent to 68 billion rand ($5.5 billion) for the period to end-April. The life-insurer's emerging markets division grew 2 percent as the fall in oil prices hit commodity exporters such as Nigeria and growth in Sanlam's home market was modest, it said.
German e-commerce investor Rocket Internet aims to list the shares in two of its holdings, Global Fashion Group and Global Online Takeaway Group, eight months after its own initial public share offer, monthly Manager Magazin said. Rocket Internet declined to comment on the report. While Berlin-based Rocket sees itself as building an e-commerce operating empire, some investors see it as a launchpad for future stock market listings of everything from online fashion to home furnishings to personal finance firms.